MIAMI COUNTY — The Waco Aerobotics Team 5140 is competing in the Cincinnati regional qualifier tournament this weekend after successful start to the season last month.
The team won the PTC Design award at the Dayton Qualifying Tournament in December.
The team of local homeschool students, designed, programmed and built a robot to complete a series of challenges for this season’s game called “Velocity Vortex.”
The robot complete specific tasks in timed rounds in an alliance with another team.
“This is full on mechanical engineering, the only thing limiting you is the extremely extensive rules and regulations,” said Zion Franz, 14, of Tipp City.
The team also keeps records of its meeting and design and programming notes, which is Arabella Partee job. Partee, 13, of Casstown, also photographs the team’s work as well as help organize the team’s outreach project.
“I do the notebook and document what they do and organize it,” Partee shared. “It will help with learning how to write better — someone’s got to do it!”
The team doesn’t just build and design robots all day, the Waco Aerobotics Team also taught a STEM workshop to group of elementary aged homeschool students as part of their outreach mission.
The team members taught the young students how to design miniature zip line cradles for a rescue off of an imaginary island after a disaster has struck at the Waco Historical Society’s Learning Center last week.
“It was fun to see the kids so happy to learn things like that and it was fun because we got to help with it,” Partee said. “It was a learning process for all of us.”
Many of the team members “graduated” from Waco Historical Society’s Learning Center’s First LEGO League teams (FLL).
Carter Newhouse, 14, of Tipp City, said, “I’m a rookie this year so I’m learning a lot. This year I’m on the mechanical team and I’ve helped with many different sections of the robot. I’ve done the shielding, constructed the brush and I helped with the ramp and the funnel.”
Issac Partee,15, of Casstown, works on the programming component of the robot.
“I liked programming the challenges. Some of the code we had to build wasn’t complete, so it was pretty complex,” Partee said.
The team has devoted countless hours preparing for this season’s competition and began meeting last July.
“I like the mechanical part because I’m the head mechanic,” said Nathanael Rice, 15, of Rossburg. It is his third year to be on the team.
Rice shared how he was always interested in mechanical engineering and found the FTC program after attending a LEGO robotics camp at Waco’s Learning Center when he was younger.
Noah Lovelock, 14, of Donnelsville, is also a “rookie” on the team.
“It’s fun. I do coding and a little bit of engineering. I get to learn about all this stuff and it’s so much fun to work with all these guys,” Lovelock said.
Josiah Yount, 14, of Huber Heights, said he enjoys the “Gracious Professionalism” aspect of the FTC, and using the program’s philosophy throughout the season.
“We even had a team come over here (to Waco) and we helped show them how to get started. They may be an opponent at our next match, but at least we helped them because that’s what gracious professionalism is all about,” Yount shared.
The members of the Waco Aerobotics Team are: Zion Franz, Noah Lovelock, Carter Newhouse, Arabella Partee, Isaac Partee, Nathanael Rice, Will Tittle, and Josiah Yount. The team coaches are Daniel Partee, Amy Rice and Jackson Tittle with Blair Jackson as a mentor. The team is sponsored by B & B Gear, Broadway Tool, French Oil Mill Company, Hemm Glass, Isaiah Industries, Precision Metal Fabrication, The Duke Foundation, The Acorn Society of Troy, ITW, F&P America, WeDryASAP.com and Stillwater Corporation.
For more information, visit www.wacoairmuseum.org
Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews