Didn’t make it to the finals

Published 4:32 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Even though road bumps stood in their way, adversity did not keep Pearl River County’s Robotics team from competing to the best of their abilities.

However, Team Chaos did not make it to the finals this year. Some hardware difficulties put the team too far behind to catch up. During the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Bayou Regional competition held in New Orleans, Team Chaos was able to make it to the Semifinals and win the Xerox Creativity award for their implementation of the scissor lift and door stops on the robot, said team leader Maureen Pollitz.

“I’m real pleased with what they did,” Pollitz said.

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Hardware failures during the competition held the team back. The team found out it was using a faulty radio system, and a piece of hardware that would lose it’s programming if the robot was bumped during autonomous mode. After replacing the radio equipment and insulating the other piece of faulty hardware, the team did well, Pollitz said. They still did not make it to the next round.

“But, as usual, they had a great time,” Pollitz said.

This year Team Chaos will lose five graduating seniors, but other students at Picayune High School and Pearl River Central High School have indicated an interest in joining. A few home schooled children also expressed interest in joining the team, Pollitz said. Poplarville High School students may have an opportunity to be added to the team next year. Pollitz said she will contact someone at the school to spread the word.

“I would like it to be a county-wide program,” Pollitz said.

There is no a maximum number of students who can join the team. Pollitz said she saw teams at the Bayou Regional with up to 50 members. Team Chaos had about 15 members this year.

Anyone is interested in mentoring for Team Chaos next year, or any student in any Pearl River County School District who would like to join the team, can e-mail Pollitz at pollitzd@bellsouth.net.

In an effort to drum up some support and awareness of the competition, members of Team Chaos went to the Mississippi House of Representatives. The students told their representatives about the program’s benefits and how it uses math and science in the real world. Pollitz the visit appeared to have gone well since some representatives asked the team members questions.