From Evangelical Christian School Website
SWAT Places in BEST Competition!
Posted: October 23, 2013
Mississippi Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) is designed to inspire and interest students in engineering, science, and technology through participation in an exciting sports-like technology contest. The BEST competition motivates students by challenging them to build a remote-controlled robot that accomplishes a defined task within a competitive setting.
On Wednesday, August 28, 2013, Lydia Allison presented Barrett Luketic and ECS SWAT (Students Working to Advance Technology) team administrators with the idea and opportunity to compete in the Mississippi BEST Competition this year. After the meeting, Coach Burton, SWAT team sponsor, garnered the interest of the team members and parents and the journey began. Kick-off day of the competition was September 7, 2013, at the Raspet Flight Center in Starkville, MS. SWAT team members and coaches learned about the theme of the competition, Gatekeeper, and received a box of random materials, a few pieces of plywood, and some PVC pipes to build a robot. Immediately, brains were technologically activated and on a mission to complete the task at hand. The team was given a time frame of six weeks from the kick-off day to design and program a robot that could technically build a computer according to the rules of the game. At the end of the six weeks, the team competed in Game Day.
The ECS SWAT team faced multiple difficulties in developing a design and strategy for the robot. After gaining a clear understanding of the concept of the competition, team members began to modify and improve their strategy. When the plan was completed, they began to brainstorm ideas about the robot’s design. After a few weeks of constructive criticism, headaches, celebrating, working, mechanical brain overload, and far too much pizza, the SWAT team created the SWAT BOT.
Preview Day of the competition was held at the Raspet Flight Center on October 12, one week before Game Day. Teams were allowed to bring their robot design to the actual competition game field and practice. The SWAT team and SWAT BOT traveled to Starkville for Preview Day and gained some essential practice time on the field. The SWAT team learned more performance information about their robot from this experience and it also exposed the need for some minor modifications to be made. This practice time later proved to be beneficial to the team’s performance on Game Day.
Game Day arrived. On Friday evening, October 18, teams’ robots had to pass a compliance check, and they were allowed practice time on the game field. On Saturday morning, October 19, the SWAT team competed in the Mississippi BEST 2013 Robotics Competition. Throughout the preliminary rounds of the competition, the SWAT team competed well and, as a “rookie” team, astonished the competitors. The SWAT team finished the preliminary rounds in third place, performing like a veteran club. The SWAT team fiercely competed in the semi-finals, retained their third place effort, and advanced to the finals. They strongly competed in the finals and finished fourth overall out of 24 teams. The SWAT team showed that regardless of experience, through persistence, teamwork and dedication, anything is possible.