The Crossett Middle School Beta Club qualified for national competition when its members attended the state conference in Hot Springs Jan. 24 and 25.
Beta Sponsor Melissa Martar Bays took 65 middle school students to the convention, and the group won six awards.
The robotics team won first in the Beta Robotics competition, but the students said it was not like their usual robot tournaments. The theme was “Divide and Conquer,” and Ella Grannon said that she and her teammates decided they would create a search and rescue scene to divide and conquer.
Grannon said she got to control the robot first, and her task was to guide the robot to hit a button releasing plastic pieces that represented people in need of rescue.
Once the plastic pieces were released, Tressa Richards used the robot to move the pieces to the area they designated as hospitals. The last three team members, Kaden McCloy, Blake Buford and Sam Rial, were tasked with moving separate stacks of pieces, which represented people stuck in their houses.
The team won first place with their robotics display and are now preparing their robots for nationals.
Another group — composed of Jaelyn Caenly, Stormie Stivers, Ashlynn Kubiak, and Christina Swartz — won second prize in the T-shirt contest. The students designed a t-shirt using the assigned theme “Beta on My Mind.” Canley said they made a few different designs and had the entire club vote on which design they should enter at the convention.
Trinity Foster entered into the speech competition with a speech titled, “Beta Minds Think Alike.” She won second place, and Martar said Foster is already preparing to take first at nationals.
“She is already talking about how she wished she would have been a little more animated and she is already thinking about how she can improve before nationals, “ Martar said.
Eighth grade Beta member Robbie Jo Freeman said her group won in the banner contest. Freeman, along with Dalton Barnett, Dayley Mcdonald, Alaina Rawings and Cari Beth Meeks created a banner for their competition. The theme was also “Beta on my Mind,” and the team chose to use a fortune teller to portray that idea.
“We used a fortune teller with a crystal ball, because fortune tellers read minds,” Freeman said.
Keeten Thompson entered an essay and Ryan Green entered her recyclable art. Green’s art won first place in its category and Thompson’s essay won second in the essay completion.
Green said she is not really an artist, but she likes the environment, so she chose recyclable art.
Both students plan to compete in nationals this summer.
Cooper Williams said this is his second time to go to a state competition and this summer will be his second time to go to nationals.
Williams said that last year he entered in the speech category and didn’t qualify for nationals. At the last minute, however, a student competing in the Tower of Power competition was unable to go to nationals and Williams went in his place. The experience prompted Williams to compete in the Tower of Power this year at the state convention.
In the competition, the students build a tower of straws, and the tower has to be tall but also strong enough to hold a tennis ball.
This year, Williams joined with team members Ali Thurman, Chase Golden, Tyrique Jones and Mary Kate Mashburn to build their tower, and the team placed second.
Williams said they plan to practice more and hope to bring home a title from nationals.
The group will travel to Savannah, Ga. in June to compete at the National Beta Convention.