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SPCC hosts Robotics Challenge

19 April 2015

By Lacey Hampton, The Enquirer Journal

South Piedmont Community College (SPCC) and Union County Public Schools hosted the Inaugural Robotics Challenge of Union County 2015, Saturday.

The event, which began at 8:30 a.m. and ran through about 2 p.m., was held at SPCC's Center for Technology and Health Education.

The competition consisted of 14 teams from area high schools and manufacturers made up of around four people each.

"It's an enjoying learning opportunity for students," Robert Filter, who organized and was helping run the event Saturday, said.

As part of the competition, each team built a robot and worked to give it different skills that would help them gain points in the competition. Each team was judged based on the design of its robot and how well it performed during the competition, Filter said.

For instance, the robots were placed inside of a large, square area with a border along with various square blocks and other items. The teams scored points depending on how well their robots were able to move items around and stack them.

"It's different from stuff we've usually done," Kate Dickson, a senior at Weddington High School, said in reference to the robotics challenge.

She participated in the challenge along with fellow members of Weddington High School's Engineering Club. She was enjoying the competition and being able to participate in something different outside of the usual school activities. Her team had spent months working on its robot. They originally started with just a basic bot and then worked to adjust it in order to get it ready to compete in the competition, she said.

"It's great. It's a great competition for kids," Denise Beaver, who watched the event from sidelines, said.

Her son, Galen Beaver, was competing in the competition as part of the Greiner Bio-One team. She along with many other parents and family members of other participants could be found cheering them on from the audience.

"It's pretty fun, I enjoy it," Zach Glassner, a sophomore at Forest Hills High School who participated with a team from the school, said.

Both participants in the event and spectators appeared to be enjoying themselves at the challenge Saturday. An awards ceremony was held after the event in which medals as well as trophies were handed out.

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