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franklin county times

Engineering group performs at state

The RCS engineering group recently competed in a multi-state event and although they didn’t come home with a win, sponsor Lee Brownell said they did a great job and represented the school well.

The group competed in the South’s BEST robotics competition Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 on the Auburn University campus, a competition sponsored by BEST Robotics, Inc., which is a non-profit and volunteer-based organization whose purpose is to get middle and high school students interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The competition showcased the 57 regional competition winners from eight different states across the eastern U.S. and out of those 57 teams, RCS Engineering came in 34th place overall.

“Our team really came together in several aspects this year,” Brownell said.

“Our presentation and trade show booth was much better than in the past. I think we have the capability to continue being very competitive in our region and at the national level.”

RCS Engineering has had impressive showings at the regional hub competitions for the past two years, coming in first place overall in 2011 and second place overall this year.

For the competition, RCS Engineering, which is considered a “business” for the purpose of the competition, was judged on several categories including a robot built to scale a 10-foot tall pole carrying different items; a trade show booth marketing their business, accomplishments and products; a marketing presentation given to “sell” their robot to potential “employers;” and a 30-page project engineering notebook that detailed the process they used to design and create their robot.

Even though they didn’t take home any trophies from the South’s BEST competition, at the regional level, RCS Engineering took home several awards including second place for Best Project Engineering Notebook, third place for Best Marketing Presentation, second place for Best Team Exhibit and Interview, third place for Best Spirit and Sportsmanship, third place for Most Elegant Machine (Robot), second place for Best Teamwork, and first place for Best Team Web Page Design.

Brownell said the team would like to thank the community and all the sponsors, which are listed on the group’s website, that made their BEST competition season possible.

RCS Engineering is already moving forward with their season and Brownell said the students are now working on two new projects, TARC (Team America Rocketry Challenge) where the students will construct a working rocket, and SeaPerch ROV, which entails building an underwater robot.

Anyone in the community who is interested in becoming a supporter of the RCS Engineering team and the STEM-related projects they work on throughout the year can contact Brownell at lee.brownell@rcs.k12.al.us.

The RCS Engineering’s award-winning website can be accessed at rcsrobotics.org.

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