IT Blog


Alabama high school robotics teams compete at district-wide event – Montgomery Advertiser

Students from all eight Montgomery public high schools stood around the fenced-in playing fields on Friday afternoon. They’re using robots to move bright yellow pucks around the board, hoping to get as many points as possible.
Last January, Hyundai gave the district a $78,000 grant to expand the district’s robotics program from all middle schools to all high schools. Robotics has allowed these students to explore their interest in engineering and make friends who share that enthusiasm.
Friday’s competition found robots on either the blue side or the red side. The teams aimed to get the pucks into raised goals. If the puck fell into the area around the goal rather than into the goal, the other team would get a point.
Participants gathered in the Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School auditorium. Every once in a while, a bell would ring or a voice would come over the speaker, requesting a student come to the office, cutting into the excitement. Students ran through the gym, including one who skidded to a halt when he realized he would be on a TV camera.
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It’s Quadjimare Raymond’s first year in robotics. The Sidney Lanier High School senior wants to go into both engineering and welding; his time with robotics has allowed him to explore those interests.
His dad is a mechanic. That’s how Raymond first got interested in the topic.
He and his friends in AP computer science signed up to take robotics together. They met new people through robotics, as well. All of them are interested in engineering and similar topics.
The called their robot “Little Bull,” because he’s designed to push opponents away.
Raymond has a full ride to Trenholm State Community College next year for welding. By then, he said, the robotics team at Lanier will be even better. “I hope to try and help and be on their staff,” he said.
Aniya Green, a senior at Jefferson Davis High School, has been doing robotics for about a year-and-a-half. She was interested in engineering before she started robotics. Creating things has always been a passion of hers.
Her school’s team brought their robot, “Tiny Tim,” a quick machine that Green says “kind of flips.” She thinks they’re going to rank near the top.
One of her favorite experiences has been to make friends in robotics. Her team includes Ade Simmons, a tenth grader who named Tiny Tim; Aleisa Adams, a ninth grader; Donovan Steele, a tenth grader; and Travon Dejerinett, an eleventh grader.
Green said she has really enjoyed getting to see how other people design things. Next year, she wants to go to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to major in computer engineering.
“Once I learned what engineering was, I definitely decided to go into it,” she said.
Jemma Stephenson is the children and education reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at jstephenson@gannett.com or 334-261-1569.