Fairfield Local Schools host robotics competition


Fire objects, high goal, rollers, autonomous driver, V5 Code, VEX robotics, end game and scientific notebook. These complex terms sounded like a new language expressed at the Fairfield School Locals as 40 teams converged Saturday on Leesburg to compete in a robotics competition.

The students from all around Southern Ohio and as distant as Youngstown and Northern Kentucky had constructed robots which were programmed to complete tasks.

Competing for Fairfield were the following students: Iryna Reeves, seventh grade; Ethan Bartley, seventh; Jayden Howard, sophomore; Ethan Yates, senior; Bryan Fair, freshman; Grant Baker, junior; Raymond Gleadle, freshman; Caleb Vidourek, senior; and and Makayla Brown, sophomore.

Howard, who had competed previously, explained this year’s challenge. “This is much harder than our first experience. Our robots have to fire objects into a Frisbee golf goal. So, the designs have taken a lot longer. Lots of the robots here have an intake which consists of flex wheels or intake rollers. They will spin and pick up discs. Some robots have a storage space and the discs will stack up. Then there is linear motion which will push those discs toward a flywheel which will fire the discs.”

TJ Crowder, director of technology in his fourth year at Fairfield, brought his expertise to begin the robotics curriculum. The program has grown and the present technology teacher, Patrick Roush, is being mentored by Crowder to take over future responsibility.

At the competition, teams were scored in various factors and degrees of difficulty.

Senior Caleb Vidourek said, “Fairfield had three participating teams, two from the high school and one middle school team. The two high school teams ended up ranking 15th and 35th out of 40 teams with the middle school team finishing in 28th place. These rankings are very good for a new program such as ours. Since our program is in its beginning stages, we began constructing our robots in mid-September; most teams began building around May when the contest was first announced. Hopefully, next year we can begin building our robots earlier.”

According to Crowder, “It was a positive day. We received a recommendation through the Robotics Foundation, we received many compliments, and the kids had a wonderful time. We had area superintendents in attendance who were excited to learn more. Kesia (McCoy, Fairfield superintendent) did a great job volunteering and helping us out as well.”

He explained that the foundation is the oversight of robotics competitions.

Crowder revealed that the Robotics Foundation looked to Fairfield as a host for future events. “This year’s competition marks the beginning of a bright future for robotics at Fairfield, and these students can only improve with time,” he said.

Submitted by Nellda Friend.

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