Robotics team sponsored by Arnold STEM competes at World Championship

  • Published
  • By Deidre Ortiz
After qualifying at the regional competition in Knoxville, the robotics team from Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro recently competed in the FIRST® Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas.

The team, Central Magnet Robotics, which is sponsored by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Program, placed forty-third in their division at the competition held April 18-21.

The students had only two weeks between when they qualified at regionals and heading to compete at the World Championship, which didn’t give much time to prepare. But according to the students, the plan is to fine-tune their robot and make it back to the world championship competition next year.

“It was encouraging to see that we did better than some of the older teams who have been doing this longer,” said Aidan Gibson, Central Magnetic Robotics team member.

Marc Guthrie, the team’s coach, added that some of the other schools at the world championship have had teams competing for 20-plus years.

“Other teams have a lot more experience,” he said. “But we’re learning and our team works hard.”

Guthrie, who is also an engineering teacher at Central Magnet School, mentioned he wished he would’ve had the opportunity to participate in FIRST® Robotics competitions when he was in high school.

“We didn’t have this when I was growing up,” he said. “My career path might have changed.”

Most of the Central Magnet Robotics students plan to go on to college, mentioning the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Auburn and University of Alabama at Huntsville as options where they would like to study mechanical engineering and programming.

The Central Magnet Robotics team stopped in at the Hands-On Science Center (HOSC) in Tullahoma May 1 to provide a demonstration of their robot’s capabilities for Air Force STEM director Olga Oakley.

Oakley said she was very impressed with the team and congratulated them on their recent achievement.

“Air Force STEM is delighted to sponsor such a bight group of high school students,” she said. “Team 6846 is an ideal role-model team that may inspire younger students to look up to and model their engineering skills, dedication and team work.”

Guthrie thanked Arnold Air Force STEM, as well as the team’s other sponsors for their support.