The Hahnville High School Robotics team competed against nearly 50 teams from around the region to see who could pick up and throw a basketball the best Ė remotely.
The team built a robot, along with 49 other schools, for the "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" Bayou Regional Competition in Kenner on March 16 and 17. They could remotely control the robot and make it pick up basketballs and shoot three-pointers.
With all but one member being newcomers to the club, the team was excited to get to the quarterfinals.
"We had no idea what we were doing – I am the only returning member," said team captain, HHS senior Jake Noel. "But this year we had 10 times more fun than last year."
The team, known as the Tiger Bots, teamed up with two other teams from Texas and Baton Rouge to compete in the quarterfinals. While they didnít win this year, team members said that they expect to make it farther in next yearís competition.
"It was completely different than what I thought it would be," said Max Eastepp, a team member. Eastepp said that he didnít realize the team would be constantly repairing the robot and running around the auditorium.
"Itís very fast-paced," said Jonathan Holly, the teamís HHS teacher sponsor. "You see similar ideas and concepts but you see such differences in designs."
Each student put in about 180 hours of work on the robot in the weeks leading up to the competition.
"They learn how things actually work – how they go together to make a system that will actually win you a competition," Holly said. "Itís a lot more than people think. People donít realize the trials and errors that go into it. Itís great to watch their problem solving skills developing."
Holly said that the team also works off of a very limited budget leaving little room for mistakes. The team spent a total of about $6,150 on this yearís robot, with sponsors including Arkema Inc., Jacobs Technology, Packaging Enterprises LLC, Mississippi River Equipment and Monsanto. Holly said that the companies like to invest in programs that promote science and engineering in todayís students because they are often "investing in their own futures."
This yearís HHS Robotics team members were captain Jake Noel, sponsor Jonathan Holly, Chad Donohue, Max Eastepp, Joel Fonseca, Matt Porche, Sharrone Scott, Daniel Seal, Colin Faucheux, Issaiah White, Corey Schmill, Chance Donohue, Seth Waldrop and Edward Brooks.
To learn more about the FIRST competition, visit www.usfirst.org.