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Smoky Mountains FRC Regional Competition Press Release

“We Are… MARS! We Are… MARS! We Are… MARS!” Chants could be heard from the crowd as the emcees welcomed the 2 alliances of 3 teams to the field. But this wasn’t for any ordinary event. This was for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics, a program geared at engaging students of all ages in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. One contender was Mountaineer Area RoboticS (MARS), FIRST team 2614, based out of the Physics Department at West Virginia University.

The 2014 game introduced to all FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams on the 4th of January was titled Aerial Assist. Aerial Assist is played by two competing Alliances of three robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ field, straddled by a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a 2-minute and 30-second match. The more Alliances score their ball in their goal, and the more they work together to do it, the more points their Alliance receives.

MARS, along with all other FRC teams, spent only six weeks designing, prototyping, and building their robot after the challenge was introduced. It was a challenging time, but also a great learning experience for what it is like in the real world engineering field. The MARS team, which consists of 42 students and 25 mentors, collaborated on what would be the final product, Marvin VII. For MARS, solving the appropriate equations and building a robust robot was a challenge well met by the students.

The team won several respected awards. One was the Entrepreneurship Award, which they have won several times in the past, even at the world championship! They also received the Gracious Professionalism™ Award. FIRST describes Gracious Professionalism™ as “competing like crazy, but treating your competitors with respect and kindness in the process.” MARS is dedicated to ensuring that not only they can compete on the field, but every other robot in the arena. One of their students, Emily Raque, received the Dean’s List Finalist Award. This award is given to an individual student “to celebrate outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.” Emily will be entered for this award again at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis. They also received the Chairman’s Award. This is considered the most prestigious award in all of FIRST. This is only the second time they have won this award. This earned them a berth to The Championship. As for success on the field, MARS partnered with Secret City Wildbots and M.C.R.T. Robo Racers and earned the title of Regional Winner. After this regional, they have double qualified for the Championship.

The MARS team will make another appearance at the FIRST World Championship, April 23-26. MARS is currently raising funds to support their trip to St. Louis. To make a contribution, contact Dr. Earl Scime at escime@wvu.edu. More information about the MARS team can be found at www.marsfirst.org, Facebook, or by contacting Dr. Earl Scime.

8th grade step up day

We are ready for today with our stand

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Alliance!!

We have invited 4265 and 3843 to be in our alliance and they have accepted our invitation in the most gracious way

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