A Powell Middle School robotics team, Jeniusism 101, took the top spot at the Wyoming State Championship last month. Besides the Champion’s Award, the team also won the Robot Performance …
A Powell Middle School robotics team, Jeniusism 101, took the top spot at the Wyoming State Championship last month. Besides the Champion’s Award, the team also won the Robot Performance Award.
Another PMS robotics team, the Fire-Breathing Rubber Duckies, won the Motivate Award.
In these robot competitions, the students design, build, and program robots that complete tasks on courses, called the Robot Game, which vary from year to year. The teams receive points based on how well their robots perform the tasks.
This was not the first time PMS robotics students have won the state competition. In December 2019, the Black and Orange Storm team won the state championship.
Jeniusism team member Alan Crawford, who was on the Black and Orange Storm team last year, said a lot of their success comes from practice.
“We’ve gained a lot of experience over the past few years,” Crawford said. “Our first bot in sixth grade was not great and had many flaws. Those design improvements have influenced last year and this year’s bot.”
Dexter Opps, another team member who was a Stormer last year, agrees it’s the amount of time they put into their robots that makes the difference, as well as effort.
“We put in extra time outside of practice, and we worked hard during practice,” Opps said.
Over the years, the team members have really improved their knowledge, added Jeniusism member Lincoln Crawford.
“After the past few years of doing robotics, we have been learning from mistakes and successes to improve our robot design and programming,” Lincoln Crawford said.
The Robot Performance Award goes to the team that scores the most points during the Robot Game. The Motivate Award is an award for team building, team spirit, and displayed enthusiasm.
“In my opinion, the reason we won this award is that we motivated each other,” said Duckies team member Brighton Streeter.
Streeter said his fellow Duckies have a lot of coding and building experience, which helps them edge out the competition.
“We work hard, and when we get off-task we take our time and refocus,” Streeter said.
Duckies member Elias Brower said the school is very supportive of the robotics students’ efforts and “wants them to win.”
Isabelle Lobingier agrees.
“The Powell Middle School staff and school were very supportive, and all the students on the robotics teams are hard-working, determined and they support each other,” Lobingier said.
Jenessa Polson commented on how well the team members work together.
“Sometimes we were angry with each other, but those difficulties tied us closer as teammates and friends,” Polson said.
Unfortunately, the students won’t be going on to the international championship, which was canceled due to COVID-19. Last year, Black and Orange Storm was prepared to travel to the international competition in Houston and raised all the funding in a short period of time, but organizers decided to cancel the event in the early part of the pandemic.
The Wyoming State Championship was held virtually, as per the rules set by the sponsor, FIRST LEGO League.