FMS robotics team advances


In just its first year of competition, Fayetteville Middle School’s robotics team, Robo Tigers, is making its mark.

The team’s first competition was held last Saturday in Tullahoma, and with 32 teams in attendance, FMS was one of 18 to qualify for the next competition at Tennessee Tech on Saturday, Dec. 7. The FMS Robotics Team won the Research Award during the first competition.

Headed up by FMS teacher Maggie Russell and parent advisor, Gena McDonald, the FMS Robotics Team is made up of students Julia Cox, Natasha McDonald, Davin Hampton, Trace Swiney, Eli Young, Nathan Hall, Ben Smith, Tyler Dodson, Isiah Baker, Nevarious Hampton and Hannah Johnston.

Fayetteville Middle has partnered with Arnold Air Force Base this year to begin competing in their Lego League to help enhance students’ understanding of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The theme of this year’s competition is “Nature’s Fury” and focuses on storms, quakes, waves and more that we call natural disasters. Teams discover what can be done when intense natural events meet the places people live, work and play. The First Lego League (FLL) challenge consists of three parts — the robot game, the project and the core values which emphasize to participants that friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.

Fayetteville Middle’s project focuses on weather alerts broadcast on television that would “stop” programs in progress on channels across cable, including those geared toward kids, such as Disney. The alerts would ensure all viewers, especially kids, get the message that severe weather is on the way. Stopping the program in progress, robotics team members say, would be more effective than “crawlers” on the screen that kids may not read.

The Robo Tigers are among 64 teams that will compete in the 2013 East Tennessee Championship set for Saturday, Dec. 7, at Tennessee Tech University.

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