By Tia Lynn Lecorchick Managing Editor
The Morgan County High School Robotics Team kicked off their first-ever RoboRide, a bicycle ride event through Morgan County, on Saturday Oct. 11 to raise much-needed funds to complete this year’s project.
The event raised $1400 for the team, which will be used to buy parts and materials for the robot that will be built this January by the MCHS Robotics Team. Nineteen cyclists participated in the event. According to Alec Johnson, mentor of the MCHS Robotics Team, the fundraiser was just what the team needed.
“We had 19 participants with a revenue for the team of $1,400 which is a great help to our $13,000 budget for the year. Many of the participants showed a lot of support and encouragement for this first event,’ said Johnson.
“Shout out to Steak and Shake of Madison, Great Clips, NIBCO, Paschal Orthopedics, Georgia Skin Care & Aesthetic Dermatology, and a special thank you to Perk Avenue for providing coffee and treats for the riders,” added Johnson.
The team will be competing at the Perry Regional Competition against over 40 other teams from all across the southeast in March 2015. The registration fee of $40 bought participants a spot in the RoboRide, as well as a free t-shirt and gift-bag filled with coupons and advertisement for local businesses.
There was a 100-mile route, a 62-mile route and a 31-mile route. According to Johnson, the RoboRide was a two-fold effort to raise support for the robotics team and promote health and fitness throughout the community. “We are trying to help our team and help the community,” said Johnson. The Robotics Team builds a robot to compete against other Robotic Teams in an international competition each year.
To do that, the Robotics Team has a budget of $13000, requiring each teammate to pay a $200 in membership dues “It’s expensive,” said Johnson. “We would like to be able to offset those membership dues for the students.” But Johnson is hopeful that the team will go far in the competition this March.
“It’s a pretty big competition,” said Johnson. “Our second year we placed second, and in every other year we have placed either in the top ten or top twenty. I think we will continue to do well,” said Johnson. But Johnson is’t just concerned with winning, but serving the local community.
“We are not only trying to win the competition this year, but there are some side awards for community service and outreach…We help out with the Boys and Girls club. We started the first Lego League, a branch off of what we do, so we make the real robots and the kids can make the Lego ones,” explained Johnson. The Robotics Team specifically chose to create the RoboRide to promote fitness in the community as well.