VIPER — Five new faces have joined Viper Elementary’s robotics team, the Rockin’ Robo Hornets, this year. The team is gearing up for their fifth season.
The team just finished up at two-day camp at The Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky in Hazard.
Coach Julia Williams is thankful for The Challenger Learning Center, “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have succeeded this far as a team.”
During a recent team meeting, Coaches Jackie Caudill and Williams geared up for the season by having team members write ideas down for the four competition areas they will have to compete in.
The competition areas focus on Robot Games, Robot Design, Project Presentation and Core Values.
Caudill and Williams said that each team member has a voice and that each voice is just as important as any other.
The team currently has 10 members. Five girls and Five boys.
The new additions to the team include Melody Stidham, Lexi Vanover, Macie Moore, Micah Morton and Sajen Robertson.
Returning team members include Kaylee Hoskins, Andy Riley, Ashton Hall and Ryan Whitaker.
Several of the new members said the reason they joined was because they felt like they were not good at other sports.
“I do not like sports. I’m not good at any other sport. I decided that this would be really fun to do,” says seventh grader Macie Moore.
Sixth grader Sajen Robertson said the reason why he joined the robotics team was because he enjoyed computers, ” I saw this (robotics team) and I thought this would be fun, because I liked working with stuff on computers.”
For sixth grader Micah Morton, joining the robotics team is helping her get past her shyness, “I wanted to push myself to join the team because I am really shy.”
Despite being new members to the team, Moore, Robertson and Morton said the Robo Hornets have welcomed them with open arms and have treated them like members of the family.
Coach Caudill offered her thoughts on why she feels the robotics team is important for the students, “I like that it gives kids a chance to shine in addition to athletics. It gives the chance for kids to hone skills that they need when they are employed… they have to be committed to the team, which I feel is lacking today with a lot of people. We just have a real good time.”
Caudill said she enjoyed learning new areas with her team. There is a different theme each year. This year’s theme is Animal Allies, but the Robo Hornets don’t know specifics of the theme yet.
Coach Williams likes that the robotics team lets her get involved with the kids, “This is a program I never thought I would be involved with, because I didn’t even know it existed. I have been introduced to this whole new world. I absolutely love it.”
Robo Hornets won third place in a state competition that was held in February. Forty-eight schools from around the state competed in the competition.
The Robo Hornets are members of the First Lego League (FLL).
Their next competition will be in December at East Perry Elementary School.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald and he can be reached at 606-629-3245.