GIRARD The Girard FIRST Robotics Robocats Team recently received the "Entrepreneurship Award" and other recognitions at this year's competitions.
Rachel Coggins, a team member, said the team first competed at the Smokey Mountain Regionals in Knoxville, Tenn., in March, where it was presented the ''Entrepreneuership Award'' for how the team presented itself and worked together and conducted its robot's plan in a business-like manner.
The next competition was at the Buckeye Regionals in Cleveland in April where the team was presented the ''Team Spirit Award.'' Coggins said the team did well and was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Members of the Girard FIRST Robotics Team, the Robocats, and team advisors received recognitions and honors at this season’s competitions. Pictured front row from left are: Sabastian Wagner, Rachel Coggins, Jason Hockey and Emily Luther. Second row from left are: Ashraf Hadi, Judy Barber, Joelle Lambert, Abbie Hall, Cori Petrozzino, Michelle Coggins and Joe Jeswald. Third row from left are: Blake Swift, Mat Marshall, Michael McAllister, Jamal McClendon, Gabby Coggins, Ja’Lene McClendon, Taylor Crown, Rachael Huey and Carissa Page. Back row from left are: Emily Cramer, Kelsey Snyder, Erik DelBene, Jason Huey, Jalen Harvey, Dave Meigs, Anthony Esposito, Sam Horne, McKenzie Teter, Brogan Kenneally and Jordan Cole.
This is the 12th year for robotics in Girard. Ashraf Hadi, Judy Barber and Michelle Coggins are the staff advisors
Barber said the team had the fifth highest ranking points but was eliminated in the quarterfinals .
Coggins said the robots' tasks included getting and hanging and innertube and team members maneuvering the robot to place the tube on different-shaped circle, square and triangle pegs.
''We had a really good robot this year,'' she said, noting that the robot did not encounter any problems that other robots in the past have.
Barber said community volunteers have included Emil David, 87, a retired machinist; Nick DiFabio, a retired General Motors employee; Girard Superintendent Joseph Jeswald, who was the team founder; Denny McBride, a GM employee and pipefitter; Randy Suchanke, a retired Delphi mechanical engineer and community member; Mark Plant, a Girard alumni and mechanical engineering major, a NASA Glenn Intern and the 2009 NASA Intern of the Year; and Tyler Biddle, alumi and YSU mechanical engineering major.
Barber said the team did well this year but noted that locally Warren G. Harding's robotics team went to the world championships.
The team is currently recruiting members for the 2011-2012 season with signups in May. Kickoff and construction of the robot begins in January and takes six weeks.
Coggins said a summer camp is planned in June to introduce new members to being on a team, speaking in front of the judges, and what FIRST Robotics does.
Barber said major sponsors for Robotics this year were Millwood Industries, Interstate Shredder and General Motors Lordstown.
A fundraiser is a four-person golf outing on July 16 at the Mahoning Country Club in Girard. To register a team, call 330-545-5431, Ext. 202.
Throughout the year, the RoboCats fundraisers included a golf outing, a trash and treasure sale, a Night at the Races, steak dinner, a beach party for grades 4-6 and other fundraisers.
In between the team's work sessions, they are helping their supporters through community service and by giving presentations and demonstrations.
The team participated in the Girard-Liberty Rotary Club's Poorest of the Poor program, served meals for GUARD and worked along with Warren and Champion's teams to host two new local LEGO Regional competitions.