Path Home Shows 2010 Show Archive March 2010 Show 1011 Meridian Robotics

Meridian Robotics

Competitive sports are among the most popular activities in high school and until recently, none have involved nuts and bolts. We take you to Oklahoma's FIRST Robotics competition as teams kick off this year's event.
Meridian Robotics


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Meridian Technology Center

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Show 1011: Meridian Robotics

Air date: March 14, 2010



Rob:  Well, competitive sports are among the most popular activities in high school, and until recently, none have involved nuts and bolts; we where there as Oklahoma’s FIRST Robotics teams kicked off this year’s competition.  Here’s our Courtenay DeHoff.

Courtenay:  First Robotics main vision is to celebrate young people’s dreams of becoming science and technology heroes.  With this innovative program they are doing just that, and providing an opportunity for kids to engage in well-rounded life lessons while developing friendships along the way.  It’s a kickoff that includes turning wrenches and tightening bolts for students from across Oklahoma.

Courtenay:  As they rush to design a sophisticated robot designed to take down the competition.  Oklahoma City’s Francis Tuttle Tech Center’s team qualified for the World Championships last year, but Coach Mike Smith says it’s about more than the thrill of victory.

Mike Smith:  They get to learn a lot.  Plus, they get to experience real engineering projects.  You know, we’ve got deadlines, we’ve got finance problems, we’ve got definitely a little pressure and teamwork, communications, we’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to work out.  It’s kind of like a mini company under pressure.  They can apply what they’ve learned in school and actually use it for, you know, applying it to a real problem and seeing the results of their efforts.

Courtenay:  Efforts that involve real world practices.  J.T. Hollarah is on the tech centers robotics team and says good time management is crucial in completing the robot to meet their deadline.

J.T. Hollarah:  Starting out you always try and space it out evenly where week to week you’re going to be doing the same amount of work every time; but that’s never how it works out.  It’s always is at the very end of the season you’re, you have to buckle down.  I was there for entire week until nine at night every night trying to get it done.  It really is a challenge every day there is always a new challenge for you no matter what team you’re on.

Courtenay:  Challenges that will last for all the teams for the six weeks; preparation leading up to the regional competition.  Even with the challenges, Meridian Technology Computer Drafting Teacher, Russel Frick, says students are eager to get involved.

Russell Frick:  They go ah I don’t want to get involved with that, but once they see that hey, I’m actually going to build something like a robot or something that is going to move they jump on to it just like a bird on a worm.

Courtenay:  On to a championship or even a career.

Courtenay:  From here the teams we talked to head to Oklahoma City for the Regional later this month.