ACS seniors go to North Carolina to apply what they’ve learned

Emily Busch

The future of search and rescue is in the hands of BSM seniors. After two years of preparation 11 students in ACS III are going to North Carolina for the Robocub Junior competition which could take them to Singapore.

For these seniors this trip is a test of the skills they have learned over the last three years. “This trip is just part of a process, we have been working on new things and this is our way of testing them. This is like our final, the competition at the end of the year, our way to evaluate systems,” said ACS instructor Mr. Timothy Jump.

In their third year of ACS the students are facing new, more difficult challenges. “I am most excited to see if the changes we have made this year will work. The seniors have not worked on our big robot this year, but if the new control system works then the hard part is done and all we have to do is put it on the big robot. The mechanical part is not the hard part, the control part is,” said Mr. Jump.

For students the competition is nothing more than another part of the learning experience. “The class is designed to meet a specific challenge and the search and rescue meets all of our needs. Its not about winning, its about learning. This competition is just a chance for show and tell,” Mr. Jump.

On March 26 to 28, there will be teams from all over the United States competing, and doing well at this tournament will mean a lot to the seniors. “If we do well it means that Mr. Jump is a great teacher, our robot actually worked, and that we qualify our Robocup Jr. robot to compete in Singapore at the international level,” said senior Claire Leiter.

The competition is made up of two parts. “The first course is a maze filled with rubble and the robot has to navigate it to find a victim that can be identified by its heat. For the other there is another maze and the robot has to find the victim (a pop can) and pick it up,” said senior Drew Frenz.

The seniors have been preparing for this competition for two years. “In reality our past two-and-a-half years or so have been leading us up to the level of competition, nationally or internationally. However, we found out about one month ago that we will be going to North Carolina, so since then our focus has been on designing our robots, mounting sensors, programming, and documenting our product,” said Leiter.

Students can’t wait to have the experience because no matter how the competition goes it will be beneficial. “I am excited to see how a competition works. It will be an overall good learning experience no matter how we do,” said Leiter.