An update from Jeff Cunningham - University High School Engineering Instructor and BEST Robotics Coach
Around the time most students and teachers are feverishly anticipating the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, the University High School and GWAMA robotics teams are busy working on the last minute (and in some case, the initial) preparations for this Saturday's B.E.S.T. (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Mathematics) Robotics competition. The event will be held in the main competition gym at University High School from 8 AM to 5 PM.
During this last week of preparations, students reminisce on the competition's Kick-Off six weeks ago and wonder where the time has gone. As the students exhaustively bicker and frantically make last-minute adjustments to their projects, the coaches remember that somehow, come Saturday morning, everything will be in place and all will be well. From the meticulous efforts for the engineering notebook, the brainstorming, designing, and building of the schools' exhibits and practicing of their marketing presentations, to the hope that school organizations and fans will attend and (oh yeah) the robot is complete, students excitedly await what lies ahead on competition day.
Ran similarly to a track meet, students from 25 area schools will arrive early and find out what heat they will compete in and the qualifying rounds will begin at 9 AM. Throughout the day, students will answer interview questions from competition judges about their "company" and try to sell their innovative ideas for a robot that can progressively perform agricultural duties such as seeding and planting crops.
To say the least, six weeks is hardly enough time for a satisfactory completion of such a project. But amidst the fun and games, students have learned how to show up on time, use technologies most never knew existed, and work on a time schedule that, as we've all experiences, never seems long enough.
Come support your Waco ISD robotics this Saturday, and good luck to all the teams!