SMS and GCCS students compete in robotics tournament
May 20, 2016
Thomas R. Throssell
Gila River Indian News
Parents, students, and teachers stood inside Sacaton Middle School’s library, on the morning of May 4, listening intently as Gila River Indian Community leadership applauded the Robotics Club students’ efforts and offered prayers to their upcoming challenge, the highly competitive international robotics competition RoboRAVE.
After listening to well wishes from Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Science Teacher JoEllen Kinnamon, and Principal Phillip Bonds, 51 students from SMS and nine Gila Crossing Community School students, along with 24 parent chaperones, began loading up their belongings onto two coach buses in preparation for their 8-hour journey to Albuquerque, NM.
Over the next two days, from May 6—7, students battled it out against stiff opposition from around the world that included 13 countries and over 600 students. But, while scoring the most points and taking home 1st place was the goal of every student involved in the tournament, much more was learned from the experience of the tournament itself.
“Last year our word was vengeance because we really wanted to go after China,” said Kinnamon. “I think this year, it was perseverance.”
“For the little ones, they didn’t see the long term goal until they got there and each day they tried harder. You could see it, they wanted to score and they worked their [robots] until they got them right,” she said.
One of the girls on our team was working on her robot but the program running the machine wasn’t functioning properly, Kinnamon said. This girl was close to tears but she kept working on her robot. She worked on that robot for two hours to get it running properly and she did. She ended up placing in eighth in her category.
“So, hard work does pay off,” Kinnamon added.
Kinnamon, who has headed the SMS Robotics Club since its inception in 2012, is grateful for the support the club has received and gives her thanks to the entities listed below:
Sacaton Elementary School District, Gila River Sand & Grvael, Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority, Lone Butte Industrial Park, Wild Horse Pass, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Pima Valve, Inc., Resolution Copper Mining, Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis, Lt. Gov. Monica Antone, GRIC Council, Honeywell, the Pinal County Education Office, and Gila River Telecommunications, Inc.
Below are SMS and GCCS’s results from the 2016 RoboRAVE International competition.
Sacaton Middle School Results:
Elementary Mazing (46 teams competed in this event):
8th: Sun Devils - Lightfoot Howard, Brian Kelly, and Anthony Braveheart.
9th: Batman #2 - Illiana Miguel and Danielle Whitman.
20th: Blues - Aden Salkey, Alex Setoyant, and Alfonso Jose.
22nd: Batman #1 - Elizabeth Paul, Littlefeather Jose, and Nicole Romero.
33rd: Minions - Sianna Rivers, Simone Natani, and Lindsy Miller.
41st: Azuriah Miguel, Hayden Terrazas, and Dalen Juan.
Elementary Jousting (50 teams competed in this event):
37th: Batman #1 - Elizabeth Paul, Littlefeather Jose, and Nicole Romero.
38th: Batman #2 - Illiana Miguel and Danielle Whitman.
39th: Braves - Azuriah Miguel, Hayden Terrazas, and Dalen Juan.
40th: Cheetahs - Gracie Marks and Trinity Hoover.
High school Aerial Drones (26 teams competed in this event):
5th: 3 Braves - Zachery Lewis, JaQuar Alewine, and Martees June.
7th: Glado’s - Damien Encinas, Mickey Pasquale, Jayce Makil, and Darrius Ameelyenah.
10th: Red Bird - Isaiah Francisco.
13th: Bad Pony - Quincy Randall.
14th: Delta Force - Jacob Ochoa and Josiah Ochoa
22nd: Wilbur - Jesus Torres, Weston Pena, and Wyatt Jackson.
24th: Nova - Johnathan Manuel, Alfonso Pablo, and Eli Vazquez.
Middle school Aerial Drones:
1st: Braves - Zachery Lewis, JaQuar Alewine, and Martees June.
2nd: Glado’s - Damien Encinas, Mickey Pasquale, Jayce Makil, and Darrius Ameelyenah.
4th: Red Bird - Isaiah Francisco.
7th: Bad Pony - Quincy Randall.
8th: Delta Force - Jacob Ochoa, Josiah Ochoa, and Damien Pahona.
15th: Wilbur - Jesus Torres, Weston Pena, and Wyatt Jackson.
16th: Nova - Johnathan Manuel, Alfonso Pablo, and Eli Vasquez.
Gila Crossing Community School Results:
Middle school Mazing
3rd: Matrixx - Richard LaFrancis, Alexus Lopez, and Devin Standing Elk
16th: Apollo - Ky Allison, Justin Lopez, and Tafv Dillon.
29th: Fantastic - Eleanor Zambrano, Malaya Pablo, and Marcus Villa.