Sulphur students try their hand at robotics

By Crystal Price - bio | email

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Students at Sulphur High School are attempting to build their first ever robot for a regional robotics competition in March.

The students are part of a first ever robotics club at Sulphur High School. The club members have been using their robotics skills and teamwork to build the robot over the last four weeks.

Stephen Vidrine, a sophomore at Sulphur High School, founded the club after getting a first hand look at the robotics programs in Naperville, Illinois.

"My 8th and 9th grade year we were in Naperville Illinois where they had this robotics club," said Vidrine.

Vidrine decided to share the robotics field with his classmates in Sulphur this year after receiving a grant from J. C. Penny.

Part of the task of being in the club is building a robot and entering the Bayou Regional Competition March 17th-19th.

The group was given a kit and requirements, but no further instructions.

"There is no instructions whatsoever, it's up here in our heads," said Vidrine. "We come with our own design and actually build it."

The group is using computer software to build the code and other tools to build the actual robot to make it move. The ultimate goal is to build a robot that will clasp inter tubes and place them on the walls in the shape of the U. S. First Logo.

The students feel pretty confident about the upcoming competition.

"Right now we're ahead of where I thought we would be," said Vidrine. "I feel very excited about that and I feel that we're probably going to make at least the top eight."

The group added that the project is a great experience even if they do not win the competition.

"It teaches you how to get one piece of metal and another and you're able to turn it into a robot," said Tyler Brumbeck, a robotics team member at Sulphur High.

"The project involves a lot of teamwork and that is something you can never have too much of," said Jessica Tarver, a robotics team member at Sulphur High.

The Bayou Regional competition is scheduled for March 17th - 19th. The first place winner will have the opportunity to compete in the championship round in St. Louis, Missouri.

The FIRST Robotics club at Sulphur High School was made possible by a grant from J. C. Penny in the amount of $6500. The group is currently applying for a second grant from NASA.

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