Students place third in robotics competition

Two students at Danny Jones MS have the chance to go to the state robotics tournament due to their advanced skill in engineering and code.

The team placed third in the TCCA Robotics competition with a machine that was built to help with everyday needs.

“We have a shirt folder,  but if possible we might think of something else for state,”  eighth-grader Sean Skarbek said.

The process as a whole was not all fun and games, however. The team had difficulty with ideas just a few weeks before the competition that would decide their fate.

“When it came down to a few weeks left we had to think of something quickly,” Skarbek said.

During the district-wide competition itself, their plan was set in stone, but the other schools had plans as well.

“It was pretty easy,”  eighth-grader Reese Blevins said. “The other schools were good, but we were a little unprepared.”

Both students stuck to their plan to build their t-shirt folding machine. When the time came ticking down, however,  they struggled to find the last few components.

“It worked, but we had a few missing things,”  Blevins said. “The main robot worked, we just ran out of time.”

The other students who competed at the tournament were also proud of their products. They had chosen ‘competition’ as opposed to ‘invention,’ which is what the other two students chose.

“Considering the challenges and our skill level, I thought we did pretty good,” seventh-grader Isabella Casas Dorn-Havlik said. “In fact, we were completely new to it and the challenges were fairly difficult.”

Isabella worked with another student, seventh-grader Hannah Godbold, to create their working machine. The two got along well and were happy with their overall product despite a few hardships.

“One of them we had was just the base robot with the ability to move things around,” Dorn-Havlik said.

The duo thought that what they created was adequate, but needed a bit more polishing to really be anything special.

“I don’t think we did great or anything, but I was still happy with the performance,” Dorn-Havlik said. “You can never really be that much prepared.”


Story by Ariana Arias and Sierra Santiago