Ohio County Schools Robotics Teams Prepare for World Championships in Dallas | News, Sports, Jobs

photo by: Joselyn King

Wheeling Park High School senior Ethan Matz shows off the Iron Patriots MK 1 robot that recently won his team’s State Skills Championship.

WHEELING — Ohio County Schools robotics teams beat nearly all of West Virginia at the state robotics championships this month, and now they’re looking to take on the world.

There are 40 Ohio County students heading to the Vex World Robotics Championship April 25-27 at Kay Bailey Hutchinson Arena in Dallas.

One of the students is Wheeling Park High School senior Azariah Bayes, the “pilot” of the Iron Patriots MK 4 robot that won the West Virginia State Overall Championship.

West Virginia was awarded berths for 14 teams in the World Championship, and Ohio County schools won nine – three for WPHS, four for Bridge Street Middle School and two for Triadelphia Middle School. .

photo by: Joselyn King

Azariah Bayes, a senior at Wheeling Park High School, demonstrates the Iron Patriots MK 4 robot that recently won the state championship and a berth in the World Finals in Dallas.

Bayes said having the best and most efficient robot in the competition isn’t always what earns his team a win. The robots are built and coded to do things like throw as many discs as possible into a net in a 45 second period.

“I wouldn’t say the robot is the best – I train a lot,” Bayes said. “I can outplay all of our opponents and I can outplay all of our opponents.

“Our robot is above average, but again, I wouldn’t call it the robot. It’s about training with my driving team and time management in the field.

He took over as robot driver after the start of the season, but including class time, he estimates that he practices driving the robot about three hours a day.

He said modifications would be made to the robot before the world championships and instead of firing four discs at a time, he would be able to fire six, which would allow the team to score more points. during the allotted time period.

Bayes hopes to pursue a career in engineering while in college and is considering the possibility of attending Purdue University or the Southern New Hampshire Online University.

WPHS Senior Ethan Matz and his team, Iron Patriots MK 1, also qualified for the World Championships while winning the Skills Championship for West Virginia.

He knows what sets his team’s robot apart from others.

“It’s fast – faster than the others,” he said. “He’s probably the fastest in the state, and he probably shoots the fastest as well.”

Matz said he made some modifications to the robot’s motors over the season to increase its speed.

Bridge Street Middle School eighth graders Mya White and Emma McNickle are excited to head to Dallas. Their Steels Devil III team was the state tournament champion among college competitors.

They added that they were looking forward to meeting new people from all over the world and being able to improve their coding skills.

JoJo Shay, innovation coordinator for Ohio County Schools, has about a month to coordinate the logistics of bringing the 40 students and nine teams with their coaches and chaperones to Dallas.

That’s double the number of robotics students who traveled to Dallas last year for the world championships, she said. It was their first year of competition and Ohio County Schools fielded four teams.

“This year, we qualified nine teams, and it speaks to their passion for robotics, their level of competition and their desire to take it to the next level,” she said. “This year we have many more children.”

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