Take 30 some high school students, give them a task involving a robot and frisbees and what to do you get? Well, that's a question for Camdenton High School's 4-H LASER Robotics team. Camdenton High School has been involved in First Robotics since 2009. Now in 2013, Camdenton has teams on the elementary level, middle school level up to the high school.
The high school team is currently in their building season. "This year we had to focus more on the specifics of motor control things that we haven't done in previous years like automatically controlled speeds on motors and automatic fired frisbees at certain times and vision tracking with a camera, allowing the robot to see the target with reflective tape," CHS Senior and Robotics club president, Jacob Harmon, said.
The team strives to get involved with community efforts. In 2011, the team raised funds for Joplin tornado relief along with The Race for the Cure. The team was recently recognized by 4H for helping to plan the first 4H Missouri Robotics Conference. Members of the LASER team from Oak Ridge Intermediate, Camdenton Middle School and Camdenton High School presented at the state conference. Attendees at the conference came from 13 states to learn more about robotics opportunities.
First Robotics prides itself on being much more than a competition with a robot.
"It's really shaped my views on where I want to go with an occupation and schooling and such. It changed me to to much more engineering orientated fields. Knowing that I wanted to do a lot with computers, but I didn't know what I wanted to do or really anything more than my hobbies. This really showed be a professional side of my passions and what the industry is like," Harmon said.
According to Afterschool Services Director, Sherry Comer, First Robotics teaches kids to push their limits and not take the path with least resistance.
"I came into high school not really knowing what I wanted to do. Freshman year, you could say, I kind of slacked off in my classes. I took Mr. Comer's class my freshmen year and he was working with the robotics team at the time. I joined it my sophomore year and I gained so much knowledge my first year. It really opened up what I wanted to do. It really changed how I've taken my classes, too. I started taking the more weighted classes and building myself up into going into the engineering field," CHS Senior Jesse Goldsby said.
The high school team has been extremely successful and hopes to continue that success this school year. Lake Sun will keep up with the team's progress through-out the year.
The team will be attending regional competitions in St. Louis and Fayetteville, Ark. They must qualify at either competition to move on to the world's competition in the spring.
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