Robotics Competition Draws Students Globally
Santee Cooper kicked off its seventh year working with the Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotic Competition (FRC) on Friday, Feb. 28, in Myrtle Beach. Themes vary from year to year, with this year’s theme being “Infinite Recharge,” a focus on renewable sources of energy.
The Palmetto Regional FRC began in 2004 with the purpose of, “giving students the opportunity to develop teams to build robots that compete in games designed by the FIRST Foundation and put into practice skills and knowledge learned.”
Since the event’s inception, Santee Cooper has been a proud partner providing educational and workforce development opportunities, and a growing force of volunteers each year.
OJ Jansky, supervisor of distribution SCADA and control at Santee Cooper, began volunteering for the competition in 2013 as a practice field attendant.
“I have been impressed with the level of organization and leadership I see in the students each year,” Jansky said. “The environment is overwhelmingly positive, and all teams encourage and assist each other – everyone is trying to lift each other up.”
Each year the competition gets increasingly fierce, so the encouragement and leadership Jansky applauds are needed. During this 17th annual event, more than 64 teams from across the globe competed in two robot alliances tasked with protecting FIRSTCity from approaching asteroids. Students designed and built droids that raced to collect and score Power Cells. The Power Cells provided much needed power for their shield generator, the center structure protecting FIRSTCity through various activated stages. Points were scored for various levels of protection achieved by each alliance and the alliance with the most points won the match.
“One of our biggest responsibilities is setting up the field that the competition takes place on, so we come in a couple days early to get that done,” said Brandy Incorvia, administrator of educational programs at Santee Cooper and representative on the Palmetto Regional Planning Committee (PRPC). “Our employees love being a part of this event, and we’re already looking forward to next year.”
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/FirstRoboticsMyrtleBeach/