Robotics team to compete in championship

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cumberland County High School’s inaugural robotics team is headed for the district championship in College Park, Md.

“When I started the team in November, I had no idea we would go so far,” said Cumberland Robotics Team Sponsor and teacher Myrna Barr. “In Portsmouth, we won All-Star Rookie team. These students rose to the occasion, played hard and persevered. They have worked very hard.”

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The team consists of students Amir McClinton, Jack Giles, Maddi White, Liron Booker, Caylor Scales, Amatul Fulani, Kierten Daniel, Ciara Gilman, Munirah Fulani and Brandon White. The team is led by Barr and mentor Michael Giles.

“With one season of experience, the kids know the dedication it takes to make it further,” said Barr. “We built our (robot) with less than $40 and used scrap from the junkyard.”

The team has competed in For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics competitions in Blacksburg and Portsmouth.

According to its website, the mission of FIRST is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership.”

Barr said the Cumberland team and their robot competed against several veteran teams under the professional guidance of Giles and Steve Barr. Giles and Barr serve as mentors and coaches to the students.

“Creativity, motivation and dedication are words to describe our team,” said Myrna Barr. “I am very proud of all these students.”

Cumberland High School Principal Jeffrey Scales said he is very proud of the first-ever robotics team at Cumberland and the commitment from the dedicated volunteers.

“I attended our first competition in Blacksburg where the team earned the 2016 FRC Inspiration Award,” Scales said. “It was an amazing event and I was completely surprised at the whole experience that must be seen to understand the passion our students, volunteers and parents have for robotics.”

Scales said he is pleased with the team’s progress and its attending the district competition next week in Maryland.