By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Third Annual RoboRide is just around the corner, set to take place alongside Madison’s Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, Oct. 8. The bicycle fundraising ride will feature four different routes throughout Morgan County. The ride will began from Clover House Market in Madison at 9 a.m. All proceeds will benefit the Morgan County High School Robotics Team. Members of the team will also be competing at the Chili Cook Off in Town Park.
Alec Johnson, mentor for the Robotics Club, is hoping to recruit 50-100 riders and raise $4000-$5000 dollars this year’s team.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Johnson. “We do it as a way to promote health and fitness. So we give back a little bit with this RoboRide while raising some money for the team at the same time.”
Accordong to the event page, the Third Annual RoboRide will be “a beautiful and challenging ride through Madison and Morgan County Georgia. Enjoy a relaxed fully supported ride through one of Georgia’s most beautiful cycling destinations. Enjoy the quiet country roads that meander through the rolling hills of the rural Georgia. You will see plenty of farms as well as Historic Ante-Bellum, homes, plantation houses and estates. Proceeds from the ride benefit the Morgan County High School Robotics Team, a truly important program which helps to build the minds of tomorrow’s engineers and scientists,” wrote Johnson.
The MCHS Robotics team has undergone some changes this season, joining a new robotics program to save money.
After traveling to the World Competition last year and spending over $40,000 for the entire season, The Robotics Club is changing things up this year to make it more affordable. The team as switched to the VEX Robotics program which is significantly cheaper than the old program, FIRST Robotics.
“Instead of spending thousands of dollars per student, now we will only be spending hundreds of dollars per student,” said Johnson. “We are making strides to hopefully go again.”
The students will have more competitions than last year, with the first one coming up in December. The team is building six smaller robots this season. The state competition will commence in March and a World Competition will be in April.
“We are prepared to go to the World Competition,” said Johnson.
Johnson hope the community will continue to support the Robotics Team, noting that the club has grown significantly from last year.
“We has 33 students last year and this year we have 47,” said Johnson. “We also have way more girls than we had last year. Last year, 25 percent of our members were girls, and this year, 46 percent of our members are girls. There are a lot of smart girls in this school and we wanted our team to represent the demographics in our school. I am so proud of all our students for joining and working so hard.”
The Robotics Club has split into six smaller teams this year instead of one big team
To sign up for the RoboRide, visit: http://www.active.com/madison-ga/cycling/races/roboride-2016. You can also email: email@example.com.
“We couldn’t be more thankful to the community for all the support they have shown us over the years. We hope they will continue to support our kids in participating in the robotics club,” said Johnson.