Team CHAOS to head to Bayou Regional

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SIR CHAOS: Members of the Pearl River County Robotics Team CHAOS show off the fruits of their labor during Saturday’s Open House. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

SIR CHAOS: Members of the Pearl River County Robotics Team CHAOS show off the fruits of their labor during Saturday’s Open House.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

Pearl River County’s robot is now complete, packed up and sent to officials for the upcoming FIRST Robotics competition. This weekend, it will storm castles and attempt to help bring back another regional win for Pearl River County’s Team CHAOS.
To complete the robot, more than 1,300 hours were put in by the students after school and on weekends.
Mentor Maureen Pollitz said some of the students worked all day on the Saturdays they devoted their time. Some students came in at 9:30 those mornings and did not leave until 6:30 or even 11 p.m.
The idea of a FIRST competition is to not only have students build robots and compete in special games, but to entice the students to consider a career in a STEM related field.
That’s the case with students participating in this year’s team.
Alex Patterson is a three-year member of the team, and now plans to do something in a science based field, possibly along the lines of an aerospace engineer. Patterson also is interested in becoming a pilot. He primarily helped with building the robot.
Anna Lander has been with the team for the past four years, and this year is serving as the chair. Her responsibility in writing essays for the team has helped build her research skills. As a result, her grades have improved in school. Her experience in the robotics program has also allowed her to determine she has a real interest in science and technology.
Three-year robotics team member Michael Drennan, who is this year’s driver, plans to seek a career in the field of mechanical engineering.
This year’s robot is affectionately named Sir Chaos in light of the name of the game.
This year’s game is called Stronghold, and is the most complicated game to date, said team mentor Allen Forsman. The object is to traverse one of several types of obstacles on the playing field. Before each game four of the five obstacles are changed up. The lowest one is permanent, another is chosen by the audience and the remaining three are chosen by each alliance. As the five obstacles are traversed during the match, teams score points. Once a defense is crossed twice, it is deemed as damaged. When four of the five defenses are damaged, the outer works is then considered breached, providing the alliance with 20 points.
Another way to score is to deposit the game balls, or “boulders” into the other alliance’s tower. When enough boulders have been shot into the tower, the flag at the top drops, signaling defeat of the tower. At that point, it can be taken by the opposing alliance by surrounding the tower with robots. Additional points can be earned by scaling the tower.
During Saturday’s Open House, the team showed off the completed robot to friends and family, displaying how their short stature robot is suited to overtake most of the different types of defenses.
The team will be competing in the Bayou Regional Friday and Saturday in the Ponchartrain Center in Kenner.
Pollitz said she would like to recognize the hard work of the students. This year’s mentors are Forsman, Branden Wilson, Henry Relayson and Beau Comeaux.

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