Horn Lake robotics team prepares for national competition

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HORN LAKE, MS (WMC-TV) - For Brian Jones and members of the Horn Lake Robotics team, an upcoming competition at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta is a major step for a program that basically started last year.

The team recently competed it its first robotics regional in Louisiana, and did better than expected.  

"We ended up making it into third place in the tournament round," Jones said. "That didn't qualify us for World, but the judges felt like we were deserving of the Rookie All-Star award, and that qualified us for the championship."

The team will take its current project into competition on April 14 with more than 300 teams from all over the world. Jones said the team's work is important because it challenges exceptional students.

Senior Zach Morgan, who is captain of the team, likes their chances.

"I'm very confident actually because with the Rookie All-Star award, it's not just who has the best program or best robot, because for a rookie team we are very well rounded," Morgan said.

Competitions are costly, so the team is seeking help from the community. Nationally, the budget for the competition was $3,500 dollars per project. Horn Lake used all the money they had, creating their robots with only $200 dollars.

Still, team member David Siddon says a good showing will go a long way.

"It would put Horn Lake High on the map," he said. "I'd feel accomplished. I'd feel like I achieved something that I worked hard to do.

Team members said their current project took six weeks to build, and well over 100 man hours. The school loaned them the required $5,000 entry fee but they still need additional funds for the trip.

If you would like more information on how you can help, contact the school at 662-393-5273.

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