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Board gets glimpse of robotics

By Jimmy Alford | Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Small robotic arms were shuffling model atoms into molecules under the command of two Paradise Intermediate students.

HELLO MR. ROBOTO - Lynsey Medlin (left) and Matthew Eisen pose with their team's robot and second place trophy at Monday night's board meeting. A third teammate, Kyndel Beck, was unable to attend. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

HELLO MR. ROBOTO – Lynsey Medlin (left) and Matthew Eisen pose with their team’s robot and second place trophy at Monday night’s board meeting. A third teammate, Kyndel Beck, was unable to attend. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Intermediate School principal Terry McCutchen and GT teacher Stacy Dial, along with students Matthew Eisen and Lynsey Medlin, put on a robotics demonstration for the PISD board of trustees at their Monday meeting.

Recently, Paradise’s team placed second out of 45 teams at a meet and has qualified to compete as one of two teams from Area 11 at state.

“It was very selective, and we are very proud of them,” McCutchen said.

Matthew, Lynsey and another student, Kyndel Beck, worked together, independent from teacher supervision, at the area meet to program the team’s robot to accomplish specific tasks. McCutchen said the students are given code that they can manipulate prior to competition and then given a problem to solve.

Dial said the students use a graphing program to plan each step the robot will complete and in what order.

“Each one of these steps is a different thing they have asked their robot to do,” Dial said. “Then they link these together to manage the task. This competition’s theme was Molecule Mania.”

The theme has the students combining oxygen and hydrogen atoms together via checkerboard pieces and small pieces of PVC piping to create molecules.

“They get different points depending on what type of molecule they choose to create,” Dial said.

Matthew and Lynsey started the demonstration, and although there were a few hiccups in the programing, the small machine began to collect checkers and PVC to create molecules.

The students will compete in April for a state title in robotics.

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