Last year, when Davidson’s RobotEx won the Jubilee BEST robotics competition for the seventh straight year, DHS mathematics teacher and team sponsor Mike Fletcher said that with each passing year, his team has focused less on the competition itself and more on simply creating the best robot it can.
RobotEx claimed its eighth straight Jubilee BEST championship on Saturday at the Mitchell Center, and this year also claimed category titles for not only Best Exhibit Booth and Interviews but also Best Robot.
This year’s competition featured the theme “Crossfire,” and challenged teams to create a robot to perform search-and-rescue and firefighting missions during a hypothetical fire in a chemical plant.
“Our robot’s name is Hydra,” Fletcher said. “The students chose that name because when the mythical Hydra took a hit, it came back twice as strong. When our team runs into difficulty, we press through and come back stronger.”
In addition to its category wins, RobotEx placed second for Marketing Presentation and third for Engineering Notebook. Davidson’s team also won the Austal Top Gun Award for the most points in a single round and the Hargrove SolidWorks CAD Design Award.
RobotEx now moves on to the South’s BEST regional championship in December at Auburn, where it won the 2016 South’s BEST title, and is currently raising funds for the trip.
“Davidson has won at the Jubilee BEST hub for eight years, but every year a new group of students runs the program,” Fletcher said, adding that this year’s event placed added emphasis on the business and marketing components of the competition. “We couldn’t do this competition without the invaluable support of our principal and our sponsors.”
Other MCPSS schools earning special awards during the annual competition were Murphy High School (Aztec Martime Blood, Sweat & Duct Tape Award), Semmes Middle (Heart of Jubilee BEST Award — Act of Kindness), Clark-Shaw Magnet (Heart of Jubilee BEST Award — Positive Attitude), and Mary G. Montgomery High School (Heart of Jubilee BEST Award — Service to Others).
Donna Carlander of Semmes Middle School was honored with the Steve Perry BEST Mentor of the Year Award.