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It's an...Eaglebot! Harris robotics team named state's best rookies

Friday, October 26, 2012

(Photo)
Brian Young and Braden McTigue stand with the HMS robot, affectionately named Lallybot.
(Submitted photo)
In their first season of competition, Bedford County's newest team made their town, and especially their sponsors, proud.

The Eaglebots were formed earlier this year as part of a vision for a program that focuses on academics over athletics. The robotics team represented Harris Middle School in the BEST, Inc. competition at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena last weekend. The acronym stands for Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology.

Many participants

(Photo)
HMS Robotics President Brandon Foster receives the Best Rookie Team award on behalf of the team.
(Submitted photo)
The team began an intense, six-week long season in early September, when students, teachers and parents attended workshops and lectures at Lipscomb. The group has grown to include seven coaches, 45 active student members, 20 spirit team students and several active parent mentors.

The Eaglebots competed against several high and middle schools. "Many of the schools are magnet schools and some schools were STEM focus schools," coach Becky Soper explained. Among a field of seven teams which were competing for the first time, Harris won the Best Rookie Team award.

"It is a true honor to receive this award," Soper said.

In addition to winning the rookie award, the team reached the semifinals in the competition.

Meet Lallybot

"Our robot (known as Lalluybot) used a pulley system, two large motors and one small motor," Soper said. "We were able to create an arm with full range movement as well as two fingers on the end of the arm which could carry and dispense objects to score points. The team was comprised mostly of sixth and seventh graders and worked diligently for the six-week season.

Each team had been given identical kits and materials with which to build a robot, were limited to items in the kit and had to build their device within a 24-inch cubic square, with a weight under 24 pounds.

Going for Gusto

The Eaglebots chased the Gusto.

"Go for the Gusto" is the top level of competition and means that the team participated in each of the available categories of competition.

"It requires all of the construction and an engineering notebook plus a website, CAD drawings, costumes and T-shirt design," Soper said.

The team also provided a marketing presentation, a team exhibit and interviews, and showed spirit and sportsmanship."

Team's start

"I introduced the program to Harris and recruited our incredible coaches, Jeremy McLearran, Nashika Trice, Kyle Prince, Kim Dolan and Magnet consultant Cynthia Jones," Soper said. "I recruited Lindsay McCallon to oversee the spirit team which created cheer items at home. She also organized the pep bus."

Harris will continue to keep the Eaglebot spirit alive throughout the year, Soper said.

"Our website, http://www.TheEaglebots.com, will continue to be a great source of information for those wanting to follow us."

Contact Soper at soperr@bedfordk12tn.net for additional information or to become a sponsor.


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