By Tia Lynn Ivey managing editor
The Morgan County High School (MCHS) Robotics team made an impressive comeback at the Kennesaw Qualifier last weekend, achieving second place for the entire competition and winning three awards, which has secured the team’s spot in the State Championships this week at the University of Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum located at 100 Smith Street, in Athens. During the Kennesaw Qualifier, the MCHS Robodogs competed against 35 teams and won an Innovation in Control award, a Safety Award, and an Imagery Award.
“There is only about eight awards and we won three out of those eight, which is a pretty big deal for one team,” said Alec Johnson, robotics instructor for MCHS. “Most teams only get one award, if any, so it was a pretty great showing for us that we walked away with three awards.” If the Robodogs continue to shine, the never-before-attained World Competition will be within their reach. If the Robodogs make it into the top 12 teams at the state competition (on April 13-16), they will head to the World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri at the end of the month. “It’s really incredible,” said Alec Johnson, MCHS’s robotics instructor. “We have a really strong group this year and it’s the best chance we’ve ever had to make it to the World Competition.”However, Johnson will need the help of the community and will need it fast, if the MCHS Robodogs succeed in securing a spot in the World Competition. Johnson will have to come up with $5,000 by Monday, April 18 to pay the admission costs and then come up with another $15,000 by the end of the month to fund the team’s airfare, lodging and shipping costs for the robot. “It’s a lot of money that we do not have,” said Johnson.
“This is going to be the first time one of our high school teams has had the opportunity to compete on a world-scale level and Morgan County’s name will get out there if we make it. I hope the community will help us achieve that goal. Overall, we are ranked 11th and they take the top 12 teams, so there is a good chance we are going.” To make a donation to the MCHS Robodogs, you can contact Alec Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FIRSTteam3600 or call MCHS at 706-752-4900.