CMS fields robotics team
Nov 15, 2017, 14:50

The Crossett Middle School robotics team finished ninth out of 20 teams in the qualifying rounds of a competition at the El Dorado Boys’ and Girls’ Club last weekend.

Crossett Middle School teacher Charre Todd and student Evan Kelley work on a robot in the classroom last week. (VAL GAUGHT/News Observer)
The team also got to be a team captain in the illumination rounds.

“It was disappointing because our robot wasn’t working properly,” robotics team coach Charre Todd said. “In the practice field it did fine, but in the match it messed up.”

Todd said this is the first year for the middle school to have a competition team. The nine members of the robotics team are all second year students in Todd’s robotic’s class.

Todd said she chose the team based on the student’s interest, the potential demonstrated in class and his or her ability to work with a team.

“They have so many electives to choose from — robotics, apps creator, EAST lab,” Todd said. “Some choose robotics and then find out it’s not for them.”
Todd only has one team this year, but she is expecting to have two next year.

Three eighth graders on the team, Belle Tucker, Damean Bailey and Evan Kelley, were all working after hours with their robots last week.

“We practice anytime we can,” Bailey said as he worked on his robot after school Thursday. “We actually practice a lot.”

Tucker, who was also working after school Thursday, said she was excited about Saturday’s competition. Tucker said her favorite thing about building robots was the freedom to be creative.

“I enjoy getting ideas that might work, and trying them out,” she said.

Bailey said his favorite thing about working with robots was being able to code them.

In the competitions, the robots are placed on a 12x12 playing field. The students have to control the robots and guide them to stack cones in the order instructed. Once the cones are stacked, the robots have to complete a small obstacle course. The students are scored on multiple things, including how high they stack the cones and how they perform moving around the course.

The students are also required to keep an engineering notebook and complete interviews with the judges.

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