Episcopal’s KnightVision robotics team is headed to the world championship competition! The team earned a spot in the finals after winning the 2019 Bayou Regional competition, which included 60 high school robotics teams. The Knights were part of the winning alliance, which included Team Chaos and Team Fusion. The championship competition is set for April 17th – 20th in Houston.
Earlier this school year, high school robotics teams received their assignment from organizers at FIRST Robotics. This year’s build theme is DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE. The competition arena is staged with mock rockets and teams are tasked with attaching hatch panels and loading cargo into a cargo ship. Teams had six weeks to build and program a robot that could accomplish these tasks timely and accurately.
KnightVision team members spent considerable time in the Design Studio, building this year’s bot. Team members exhibited impressive mechanical skills and adaptability when faced with a problem. Advisor Dr. Jeff McLean says the team also spent time while at the Rock City competition in Little Rock working on the robot to further boost the performance. The effort paid off and the students are now quite good at delivering the cargo with the robot. In the Bayou Regional, Dr. McLean says the squad faced technical challenges that they were able to quickly work through in order to continue competing. Such an ability to recover from adversity made KnightVision worthy of an alliance with the top two teams in the event.
According to the FIRST Robotics website, a robotics competition combines the “excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.” Robotics events include all the fanfare of a sporting event with an announcer, team shirts and team banners. The events are a great way for students to build camaraderie and create alliances with students with similar interests. At the Bayou Regional, Episcopal students had the opportunity to compete against local students, as well as students from as far away as the Netherlands. This sense of community and team pride makes robotics a meaningful experience for participants.
There is more to robotics than tinkering and test driving. According to the FIRST Robotics Impact report, FIRST participants are significantly more likely to be interested in science, technology, engineering and math and related careers than a comparison group of students. The FIRST report also includes the following statistics:
In addition, the FIRST report shows that participants display greater improvements in communication, conflict resolution, time management and problem solving.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 8.8 million science, technology, engineering and math jobs in May 2016, representing 6.3% of overall employment. A robotics experience can help students determine if such a career is the right choice and the more than $80 million in scholarships available to students involved in FIRST robotics can make that dream a reality. These scholarships are offered by universities across the country, including LSU, Tulane and University of New Orleans.
Before they launch their career, KnightVision team members are first focusing on that world championship competition. Good luck in Houston! The Episcopal community is cheering you on to victory!
This year’s team is advised by Dr. Jeff McLean and Dr. Xiaoyue Jiang. This year's team sponsors are Leidos, the Honeycutt Family and Turner Industries. Thank you for your support!
Congratulations to the following KnightVision team members: