On Saturday, April 28, nine motivated Brigantine North Middle School eighth-grade students gave up their sunny Saturday for an opportunity to compete at the 2018 Robotics Challenge held at Stockton University.
Competing against numerous area high school students, from Pilgrim Academy to ACIT to Absegami High School, the students were required to build a working robot in accordance with detailed engineering specifications, and have it walk a 6-foot obstacle course.
For the third year in a row, Brigantine North Middle School has had a presence at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Women in Engineering (WIE) Southern New Jersey Chapter of the Robotics Challenge. Brigantine’s cross-curriculum efforts between the Gifted and Talented Teacher, Rita Coyne and the STEM teacher, James Wilkinson, proved to be a strong match as students learned teamwork and collaboration skills as well as the engineering design process.
Students were grouped into teams for the Robotic Challenge, and this year Brigantine North Middle School was proud to sponsor two teams.
Each team was required to create a theme, a team name and a name for their robot. Team B1, titled “JabaScript” consisted of Aidan Driscoll and Arianna Haider who collaborated to operate the robot, as well as Isabela Simpson, Belinda Kinney and Joseph Sucharski, who assisted with control units and written reports. They named their robot “Luke Slow Walker” as an extension of the Star Wars Theme.
The team completed their ensemble at the challenge with Princess Leia hairstyles and light sabers. Not only did these students walk their robot the entire length of the course and overcome both obstacles, but they came in under the time frame for the task. The judges said they had never seen a middle school team complete the entire course in a shortened time frame. This is a truly impressive feat when one considers this is a high school level competition. Congratulations to Team B1.
Team B2, titled “Rusteze Pit Crew” consisted of Megan Baldwin, Mary Bennett, Mikayla Garraty, Olivia Heng and Samantha Smith.
Samantha and Mikayla joined forces to operate their robot named “Lightning McQueen” after the lead character in the Pixar movie "Cars." Their presentation was made complete with professionally embroidered T-shirts, courtesy of Bill and Maureen Baldwin, and their company, North Shore Embroidery.
Although their robot was only able to complete about a third of the course in the allotted time frame, judges were impressed with their attitude and teamwork and commented that they did a “better job than some high school teams!”
Both teams excelled on the quality of their written report and oral presentations, and judges were impressed saying that the students were “well prepared” and “very articulate.”
Scores for the teams were not available as of press time. Congratulations to both 2018 Robotics Teams for a job well done and for fighting outside of their weight class.