“The purpose of our tournament and expo is twofold,” said PCHS teacher Michaela Young, the robotics club sponsor. “The main reason for this event is to promote science, engineering, technology and of course robotics to children and adults of all ages. We want to get the kids excited about science, engineering and technology.”
Young said she hopes to generate interest like that with the two high school students leaning over the newly built PCHS BEST Robotics Team robot.
Tenth-grader Jacob Thomas said he was joining the school’s amateur ham radio club when someone steered him to the robotics team. It didn’t take long for him to decide he wanted to become a member.
“I fell in love with it,” Thomas said.
Jonathan Crump, who heads up the club’s communications and website, looked on as Thomas, the club’s lead engineer for the robot project, replaced a drill bit so he could make some adjustments to the robot contraption the team designed and built.
Young said Saturday’s event, which is slated from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., is being held at the Pell City Center, adjacent to the high school.
“The event is also a fundraiser for the PCHS BEST Robotics team,” she said. “We will use funds raised to help us compete in the 2012 Central Alabama BEST Robotics Competition.”
Young said the BEST robotic competition is held at the Talladega Superspeedway during the fall and the top school teams advance to competition at Auburn University.
“We have completed in BEST for the past four years,” she said. “We are looking forward to our fifth season.”
Four BEST robotics teams will have demonstrations at Saturday’s event, and include teams from PCHS, Hope Academy, Duran Junior High School and Winterboro School.
The LEGO Tournament will have three divisions, first-third, fourth-sixth and seventh-twelfth grade divisions. Competition tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.
General admission tickets are $2 in advance and $3 at the door.
Advance tickets are sold this week at Kennedy Elementary School from 7:45-8:15 a.m., and at Jack’s Restaurant in Pell City from 4-5:30 p.m.
“Several groups are helping us to hold the event,” Young said. “It’s nice that we have several organizations working together to put on the event.”
Young said the Pell City High School JROTC students will have a booth at the Expo.
“Children will be able to put a car together and race it on a track that the JROTC students have built,” she said.
She said the ham radio booth will include the St. Clair High School and Pell City High School Amateur Radio Clubs.
“Participant will get to talk on the ham radio and find out how ham radio is used during times of emergency,” Young said. “Our drama department is putting on a play called, ‘Trouble in Outer Space.’ This is about a 10 minute play.”
She said there are two performances planned for Saturday.
Young said Hope Academy will also have an interactive booth.
“They will have computers set up and will show children how to program a robot,” she said. “Hope Academy won 10th place in this year’s South’s BEST robotics competition at Auburn University, which included teams from seven states.”
Young said Duran North Junior High School BEST will have a maze for the robots to go through.
She said PCHS art student are making LEGO themed art projects that are displayed at the event.
“Some of our best science fair projects will be displayed,” Young said.
She said Larry Patterson will demonstrate his coke can sterling engine that he recently won first place at the regional science fair at University of Alabama in Birmingham.
For more information call 205-547-6730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit pchsrc.webs.com.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.