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Team Otto Scores Big at Georgia FIRST Robotics Competition

After working tirelessly for six weeks, the student team from Forsyth Central High School in Cumming, GA won the district qualifier at the Georgia FIRST Robotics competition and also received the quality award. This is the first time the AutomationDirect-sponsored team has won the competition and everyone was smiling – including Smiley!

Team Otto with First Place Award

Sarah Spiller, a senior on the winning team, has been involved with robotics since middle school through the VEX program. Sarah liked that program but wasn’t sure she wanted to continue with Robotics in high school until a teacher convinced her to sign up. “Once I got involved at the high school level, I was hooked,” said Sarah. “At first, I worked on the scouting part of the team and then jumped into the electrical part when I was a sophomore. I love it. The competitions are awesome!”

FIRST Robotics

Team Otto roboticsThe Georgia FIRST Robotics competition is designed to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders. The organization’s vision is to “put Georgia first” by encouraging students to be excited about these fields, attend a state institution, and then stay in Georgia for a technical career. In 2016, there are more than 66 teams statewide with nearly 2,000 participants ages 14 – 18.

Sarah is the perfect example of how the competition can impact a young person. She is attending the University of Georgia in the fall and plans to major in biological engineering. By participating in Georgia FIRST Robotics, she has not only learned technical skills but also how to lead a team, fundraise, analyze, and work with mentors at school and in the business community.

As one of the team sponsors, AutomationDirect provides monetary donations as well as products and technical mentoring expertise. In honor of AutomationDirect, the students named the robot “Otto” and proudly waved the Smiley flag.

Team Otto now heads to the state competition for a head-to-head match-up of the best FIRST Robotics teams in Georgia. This year’s competition is called “Stronghold” which requires each team’s robot to pick up balls, work its way around obstacles, and then launch the balls into a medieval-themed castle. Teams that rank the highest in score and awards will be eligible for the “world” competition to be held in St. Louis. Good luck to Team Otto!

Team Otto flag at competition

To learn more about Georgia FIRST Robotics, go to:

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