Archive for the ‘Memphis Robotics’ Category


February 14th, 2018 No comments


Please help by:

We’re the Memphis Public Libraries’ Memphis-Mech Warriors, and we need to raise $5,000 to go to the FIRST Robotics competition finals in Houston this April!

There are 3,620 robotics teams world-wide registered to compete in FIRST Robotics competitions. Memphis/Shelby County has 4 teams competing. One of those teams is us… the Memphis Mech-Warriors, the only community-based team. Unlike school-based teams, we’re based out of the Memphis Public Libraries’ CLOUD901 teen learning center where any student in the city can participate.

The Memphis Mech-Warriors have 15 team members from 7 schools, plus 3 home-schools. We are comprised of 6 girls and 9 boys, we’re 70% African American (representative of the Memphis population). The Mech-Warriors plan to compete regionally in Peoria, IL and Knoxville, TN before going to the national competition in Houston, TX in April.

“We want to go to Houston whether we place or not – and we plan to place!” says Memphis-Mech Warriors!

Our goal is to raise $11,300 for:

Renting 2 passenger vans to transport the team (+7 adults; staff/mentors) = $2,000
Hotel rooms (8 x 5 nights @ $150/night) = $6,000
Food (for 22 people @ $30/day = $660/day x 5 days) = $3,300
Total = $11,300

The team also received grants from FedEx, AZO, Grainger, and Snap-On Tools, but it’s not enough to cover all costs. We have spent a lot of time preparing, and we’re ready to compete!

Background – Robotics help Memphis teens learn 21st century skills like collaboration, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. Without CLOUD901 and this team, we would not have the opportunity to participate in high level tech programs. Robotics is just one of the many digital and tech skills teens can learn at the Memphis Public Libraries.

According to 2017 TNReady (State of TN), the percentage of Shelby County School students considered on track or advanced in math was only 9.7 percent. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, vs. other occupations at 9.8%. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators. It is clear that most jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. Without adequate STEM programming, students simply do not have the tools to be competitive in academic achievement or workforce readiness.

Robotics teams are expensive! Most public and even private schools cannot afford to field a team. But the lessons teens are learning from competing in robotics are transformative and lasting. Take a look at this creative parody video, filmed at the Library’s teen lab, CLOUD901. CLOUD901 students, with the help of the library staff, wrote, recorded, and filmed it for viewing at the many FIRST events throughout the season:


[Full disclosure…..the editor of this blog is a Mentor / Coach of this team…..please help them out!]

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Updated Links

January 31st, 2018 No comments

I didn’t realize how out of date some of my links were on the right hand side….just updated them!

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National Robotics Week!

April 8th, 2017 No comments

Its National Robotics week!

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Robotic Summer Camps

May 26th, 2016 No comments

Looking for a robotics camp for your kids in Memphis. Here is the list of the one’s I know about:

Cloud 901 at the public library is hosting a few camps for kids interested in robotics and programing. To see the list of camps CLICK HERE

University of Memphis Herff College is hosting its Girls Experiencing Engineering camp which will be focused on robotics this year. See THIS LINK for more details.

Collierville Robotics is hosting two VEX Robotics camps. For more info see THIS WEBSITE

I will add more as I find out about them. If you know of a robotics camp, please let me know so I can post them here….email them to

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Students Compete In Louisiana Underwater Robot Competition

May 23rd, 2016 No comments

The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate (5/21, Richards) reported that the “US Navy National SeaPerch Challenge pitted teams of middle and high school students against each other” as they “raced handmade underwater robot-like contraptions…during a competition Saturday at the LSU Natatorium.” The Advocate says that 536 boys and 273 girls took part, “in line with national trends, where women fill 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs.” Assistant Professor at LSU and director of the Gulf Coast Regional SeaPerch Challenge Bridgette Davis “said the real world application is critical for STEM education in Louisiana, given that much of the state’s economy involves being on or around water.” Executive Director of the SeaPerch Program Susan Nelson said, “We (graduate) less than 70,000 engineers in a year, so there aren’t enough people to fill the pipeline. … (The Navy) likes programs like this because of that reason.”

Ed Note: From Memphis: The Robochiefs from Craigmont High School Ranked 62 overall, 69th in the Obstacle Course 51st in the Challenge Results and 39th in the Poster! Congratulations!

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Whitehaven Elementary Heads to Vex World Championships

April 20th, 2016 No comments

From: WREG

WHITEHAVEN, Tenn. — They are not even old enough to drive cars yet, but these Whitehaven kids are driving robots all the way to an international competition.

Whitehaven Elementary students are leaving to compete in the world robotics championship Wednesday.

WREG’s Katie Rufener caught up with the kids to see how they are preparing and what they have planned for their futures.

“You can like, do anything you want, like make any type of robot,” 9-year-old Aarilyn Yacorps said of why she loves her robotics team.

With a little teamwork and a lot of hard work, these kids from Whitehaven Elementary’s STEM Academy built robots and beat out teams from all across the state to qualify for the world championship.

They are one of three schools from Tennessee competing.

The Whitehaven Elementary School kids spent about two months working on their robotics.

The robots drop orange balls into a bin to earn points in the competition.

This is only the second year they have competed in the VEX competition, and both times they have qualified.

In a neighborhood that deals with a lot of crime, these kids are rising above.

STEM teacher Meagan Michael explained, “We’re an optional school. So these kids test into our school. They have to maintain certain grades.”

They have gotten a lot of community support, and the kids just got a $20,000 grant from Verizon for their program.

And even at such a young age, they are ready to change the world.

“I want to be a biomedical engineer, because that works with medical and engineering, like prosthetics,” Yacorps said.

“You need to find your passion, and don’t let anybody else stop you from having your passion!” 8-year-old Pasley Thompson said.

The kids will leave for the competition in Louisville at 7 a.m. Wednesday and return Sunday.

Doing well in the championship can lead to scholarship opportunities down the road.

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Collierville Robotics @ TSA Conference

April 19th, 2016 No comments

On Apr 6-9 Collierville HS participated at the TN State TSA conference Vex Robotics Competition and were Tournament Semifinalists (VRC/VEXU).

Congratulations Collierville!!!

See VEX Website

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Collierville HS Wins VEX State Championship

March 11th, 2016 No comments

Congratulations to the Collierville VEX Robotics Team who won the TN State Championship on Saturday in Nashville. The robot named “The Illuminati” was crowned Tournament Champion and will advance to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, KY April 20-23. The Illuminati team also received the Sportsmanship award, voted on by the other tournament teams and Shelli Brasher (their coach) received the award for TN VEX Partner of the Year for establishing VEX robotics in West TN.


The Collierville team is looking for sponsors to help offset transportation, hotel and meals costs. Contact Shelli Brasher at ( if you are interested in helping sponsor the team at the world competition.

Related items:

TVA Cheers on Valley Robotics Team Heading to World Championship

Fox13 News

Robots shoot and score at Collierville High School robotics competition

February 10th, 2016 No comments

From Commercial Appeal

By Linda A. Moore
Posted: Jan. 16, 2016

Inside the varsity gym at Collierville High School Saturday, balls flew through the air, teammates cheered each other’s success, referees in striped shirts made sure everyone observed the rules and adversaries shook hands in congratulations on a game well-played.

But nobody was aiming for the high hoops.

It was the first Dragon Invitational VEX Robotics Competition.

“We have a lot of rookie teams here from Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas,” said Shelli Brasher, STEM (science technology, engineering and math) teacher at Collierville High.

More than 100 students made up 22 teams from 10 middle and high schools. They competed in competition in which robots shot balls into nets about four feet high, while other robots moved balls around for points.

“Part of the strategy is learning to work with the other robot to maximize the points,” Brasher said.

Drew Central High School in Monticello, Arkansas, was among those competing.

“The learning that takes place is out of this world — problem-solving, logistics. It’s amazing,” said Barbie Eubanks, a former science teacher-turned-librarian and robotics team coach.

The robots are made of metal with gears, rollers, rubber bands and wheels. Some are directed through remote control and others have been programmed by the students.

The competitors battled in “Nothing But Net,” with points earned by robots that push balls under a low goal or shoot balls into a high goal.

Throughout the day, teams were eliminated until those who advanced to the championship round created “alliances” with other teams and skillfully selected partners that would enhance the abilities of their own team.

For example, said Nicholas Perkins, 16, a junior at Southaven High School and a member of the DeSoto County Career Tech West team, his team formed an alliance with the Jackson (Tennessee) Area Robotics team, whose robot rose more than 12 inches, gaining extra points.

“You get to learn what other people can do with their robots,” he said. “And if you’re lucky, you get a plaque.”

By the end of the day, the final bracket pitted the Red Alliance — formed by teams from Brentwood Academy from Brentwood, Tennessee, and Collierville High — against the Blue Alliance, with teams from Drew Central; its neighbor, Monticello Occupational Education Cooperative, and Memphis Collegiate School.

In the best-two-out-of-three round, the robot from Brentwood quickly gobbled up balls and tossed them into the net, while Drew Central’s team fed balls to a robot that flung them with impressive accuracy.

But in the end, the Red Alliance won the day.

“I’m extremely proud of them and that they were able to do it all with their hometown team,” said Kelly Griffin, engineering teacher at Monticello Occupational.

Hank Roberson, 13, an eighth-grader at Brentwood, was thrilled with his team’s win.

“We’ve had to redo our robot three times, so this feels like the final one,” he said. “It feels like my baby.”

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Upcoming Robotics Competitions In Memphis

January 13th, 2016 No comments

Vex Dragon Robotic Invitational (VRC and VIQC) 01/16/2016 @ Collierville High School

West TN FIRST Lego League Championship 01/23/2015 @ University of Memphis, University Center Ballroom

GRAD GRIFFIN NOTHING BUT NET (VRC) 01/29/2016 @ Grad Academy

Vex Dragon Robotics Invitational 2 (VRC and VIQC) 02/20/2016 @ Collierville High School

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