Armin Jahr noticed that the creation of the Student Union this summer opened space in Hillcrest's basement.The Central Lakes Robotics club, something Jahr works closely with while at Hillcrest, needed a new building space. The basement of Hillcrest quickly transformed to a fabrication lab where Jahr united his engineering class curriculum to coincide with a robotics program that is winning awards with homeschool students.
The Central Lakes Robotics club is multifaceted. Homeschool students gather nightly in the former cafeteria at Hillcrest to cook complex thoughts into award winning productions. The tri-state competition last week enabled the group to show their progress in a 20 team competition to see who would advance to regionals in Minneapolis.
After a season of hard work, the robotics class designed and created the practice field and basic robot design. Homeschool students joined leaders in the class to practice exercises with the robot. Homeschool projects emerged from the back of cars that parked in the evening behind the castle. Tag board and computers displayed hard work in the basement of Hillcrest as the homeschool students practiced presentations with robots spinning around the practice course in the background.
The crew traveled to NDSU for the tri-state competition. Hillcrest's pep-band traveled with the Robotics team, setting-up for a competition few had witnessed before. Tunes blared from Hillcrest's cheering section where students donned face paint, themed t-shirts, and wigs where they cheered for friends holding remote controls.
As the competition wore on the Robotics team separated. Some students gathered to give business presentations on their Robot. Others ran to the student cheering section as Hillcrest's robotics team placed their robot on the course. The result from the day had Hillcrest packing 13 of 15 awards into the back of vans. The hardware propelled the Comets into the regional competition.
Hillcrest won the following awards:
1. Founders Award for Creative Design, This award goes to the robot with the most creative engineering design.
2. Most Robust Robot, This award goes to the robot that is designed to to keep going with the least amount of maintenance.
3. 1st Place Website. This award goes to the team website that best describes their team and the competition.
4. 2nd Place You Tube Video. This Award goes to the team You Tube Video that best describes the team and the competition.
5. 3rd Place Mascot. This award goes to the team mascot that generates the most enthusiasm from the crowd on game day.
6. 1st Place Teamwork Award, This award goes to the team that shows the most teamwork throughout the competition.
7. 2nd place T-Shirt. This award goes to the team tee shirt that shows the most creative design of the game theme.
8. 1st Place CAD, This award goes to the team with best CAD drawing of their robot.
9. 1st Place Marketing Presentation, This award goes to the team with the best marketing presentation selling the team to the judges.
10. 1st Place Engineering Notebook, This award is for the best team engineering notebook that describes the engineering process that the students used to build their robot.
11. 1st Place in robot, This award goes to the highest scoring robot in the competition
12. 1st Place in BEST. This award is the highest award in the competition., it goes to the team that has done the best in all areas of the competition.
13. Mentor of the year. This award is for a mentor that is submitted by the students. It is an award for the mentor that goes above and beyond in teaching and coaching students throughout the year.
The Comets look forward to the coming months as they redesign their robot and rebuild the practice field for regions.