Engineering Success: Happy Valley Middle sending two teams to state robotics competition

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018

There’s no worry of a sophomore slump at one local middle school.

In the second year of providing a robotics programs, a handful of students spent Tuesday afternoon putting the final configurations on their machines in the hopes of coming away with a win at Saturday’s state competition to be hosted at Brentwood Academy.

Two teams are making their way to the big dance — Team 31110 H and Team 31110 V.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’ve stayed out of it mostly, it has been all them,” said team sponsor and HVMS teacher Mike Dorsey. “I fully expect them to compete for the world championship, too.”

Team 31110 V — comprised of Clara Smith, Zach Stephens, Ryan Eggers and Jackson Taylor — first qualified for the competition during a tournament held at Signal Mountain. Just recently, the team picked up a win at Sullivan North High School. Team 31110 H — featuring Malachi Clark, Hailey Crawford, Adam Sheppard and Isaiah Brumitt — qualified for the tournament with a runner-up finish at Sullivan North. While originally finishing third place, the second place finisher ended up getting disqualified, allowing the squad to punch a ticket to the contest with an automatic bid.

“This really says a lot about the work the students have put in the entire year,” Dorsey said. “We only competed in two competitions last year. This year, the students received an award in each of the competitions they competed in.”

It all comes down to hard work and dedication, according to Team 31110 H. During school Tuesday, the squad praised the effort of their leader, Crawford, and her motivation tactics for each competition.

“Everyone at Happy Valley is very excited for the upcoming state competition,” Crawford said. “We’re proud that two of our teams have made it to state.”

Crawford added that making it to state takes cohesives and leadership. She added the teams have done a “great job” adjusting during their second season.

For Team 31110 V, Eggers indicated that the achievement of making it to state will set the stage for future progress with the program.

“Personally, I believe going to state is a large achievement,” Eggers said. “Not many schools are able to get that opportunity and we’re able to send two teams. For Happy Valley Middle School, it is great. There’s a lot of pride in our school and with this program.”

Dorsey was quick to thank the sponsors of the program, including the East Tennessee Foundation, which made a sizeable donation to the program with grant funding for the 2017-18 academic year.

Information on the program can obtained by visiting the Happy Valley Middle School website and by searching for “Warbots.” Team V also has videos online available for viewing. Individuals wanting to see the ins and outs of competition can visit YouTube and search for “31110V Hephaestus.”