Horry County students prepare for robotics event

Horry County students prepare for robotics event (Image 1)

Myrtle Beach will host the First National Robotics Competition for the second year in a row.

The event is scheduled from Thursday February 27 to Saturday March 1st.

City officials say the competition will bring an estimated $1 million economic impact to the area.

High Schools from across the nation as well as all ten Horry County High Schools have spent the last six weeks working to complete their robots.

Tuesday was the last night competitors were permitted to work.

“Its crunch time everything is coming to a close,” said Blake Smith.

Bad weather and days away from school meant Horry County students lost an entire week to work.

Even though they say it has been hectic, students like Smith, say working on the robots have been a dream come true.

“This is what I want to do with the rest of my life,” he said.

Smith, a sophomore at Aynor High School, designed and will be controlling the almost $10,000 robot at the competition.

He says his goal is to pursue a career in robotics and engineering.

Smith says taking part in this event has given him an opportunity that he would not normally have, within the Aynor curriculum, to get hands on experience with robotics.

A majority of the team members for Aynor are boys, but that does not mean that this competition is only for the guys.

“Girls can be involved in robotics,” said sophomore, Eve Thompson.

Thompson's duties for the team were a little broader than other members.

“I did a little bit of everything,” she said.

From paper work to turning a computer classroom into a robot garage, Thompson took the lead.

She says even though robotics is not where she plans on making her career, the experience has been priceless.

“It has helped create a sense of your learning, but you're still having fun at the same time so it's helped fill all of the different places in life just keeping us moving towards a goal,” said Thompson.

The whole team agrees with Thompson and say win or lose at the competition they all plan to return to the team next year.

For more information on the event you can visit First Robotics website here: http://www.myrtlebeachfirstrobotics.com/Home.aspx




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