Mid-Atlantic Broadband presents donation to robotics team

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

For the first time, Cumberland County Public Schools competed in the FIRST Robotics competition. FIRST Robotics, founded in 1989, is a not-for-profit public charity that encourages young people to participate in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by giving them the opportunity to use STEM learning to build and program a robot.

Each team must register to participate so that they can receive a standard kit containing various parts. Students, with mentors and sponsor, have six weeks to design and build a robot. The robot must then be programed to play a game that has a common set of rules. FIRST competition was described as “combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.” At competition, teams collect points based on excellence in design, team spirit, gracious professionalism, ability to overcome obstacles, and ability to carry out the tasks required to play the game. The game changes every season.

The Cumberland Robotics Team, under the direction of Myrna Barr, assembled their robot and began programming it to get ready for competition. She noted that they watched YouTube videos and sought the expertise of community members, including Michael Giles.

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The team was assisted by Mid-Atlantic Broadband, which provided $6,000 for start-up costs. This enabled the team to purchase the standard robotics kit and register for competitions. The team did fundraising events to help pay for other materials; Mid-Atlantic Broadband also matched these funds. Jeremy Satterfield presented the check for matching funds to Myrna Barr at the March 14 meeting of the Cumberland School Board. Dr. Griffin thanked Barr, Satterfield, and Giles for all that they have done to make the team successful.