• Murphy Middle School students (from left) Caleb Smith, Brody Helton, Andrew Thompson, Rosley Hall and Landyn Adams listen to advice from coach David Decker before competing in the First Lego League regional tournament at Cherokee High School.

SCOUTING AROUND: Two teams selected for state robotics tournament

   Martins Creek Middle School is once again going to the state First Lego League robotics competition in January after qualifying at the regional tournament at Cherokee High School on Dec. 2. They will be joined by the team from Murphy Middle School.
   Martins Creek sent three teams to the regional tournament. The Chaotic Robotic team – Taylor Burt, Alyssa Kaufman, Emma Muniz, Madison Munz and Carson Phillips – won the award for teamwork in addition to qualifying for state. Chad Brooks and Amy Morin were coaches for Martins Creek.
   “We focus on being the best teammates we can be, learning together and realizing that doing these things makes it fun,” Brooks said.
   “Our team members have made a commitment to these ideas, and they have made strides as a team as a result. Qualifying for the state competition gives us a chance to explore and grow more as a team, and we are very thankful for the
   Murphy Middle’s Circuit Overload team – Landyn Adams, Andrew Thompson, Caleb Smith, Brody Helton, Ciera Ward and Rosley Hall – won the award for Gracious Professionalism in addition to qualifying for state. David Decker and Debbie White were coaches for Murphy.
   “We’re super proud of these students,” Decker said. “They’re all rookies this year, so we really had to start from the ground up in learning how to build, program and operate the robot. To see them come so far in such a short amount of time is a testament to their hard work and determination.”
   The teams were two of 13 teams that qualified for the state tournament out of about 50 that competed. Andrews Elementary, Andrews Middle, Peachtree and Hiwassee Dam Elementary/Middle schools also competed in the regional tournament. Andrews Middle and Hiwassee Dam schools each brought two teams. The team from Brevard Middle School was the overall champion of the region.
   Teams were judged on research presentations and robot challenge performances. The challenge theme this year was hydro dynamics. Each team had to identify a problem with the human water cycle, then develop a solution for the research presentations. They had to design, build and program a Lego robot to complete missions on a course.
   For their research project, Chaotic Robotic presented the idea of boiling and treating poor quality water before sending it into homes and nature. Circuit Overload looked into contaminated water sources and the risks of drinking contaminated water, then demonstrated how to make water potable for survival or recreational use.
   The state competition will be held at N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro on Jan. 20, 2018.
   Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.