Wahkiakum 4-H Robotics Club competes at state competition
May 18, 2017
On Saturday, May 13, Wahkiakum's own 4-H Robotics Club sent it's M.A.T.E. (Marine Advanced Technology Education) team to the Aquatic Center in Federal Way, for the M.A.T.E. State Competition. Captain Chuckie Barton Jr, age 17, lead his team members -Sam Bouts, Micah and Isaiah Johnson, and Peter and Annelise Vik (being the youngest at seven years old) through four underwater tasks simulating commerce, entertainment, construction and health. This team designed and built their R.O.V. (remote operated vehicle), that they named "Scuttler," over 11 sessions after school and a couple Saturdays. It is built out of 1/2 inch PVC pipe. It has four thrusters, one for up and down, two for going forward and backward and one for crab walking. There are two hooks on the front (one longer than the other) for grabbing things. Inside these hooks are sensors that detect "hazardous material," one of the tasks at the competition. The ROV's can't go in the water to compete until they have passed their safety check. Scuttler passed the first time! There were some teams who didn't make it into the water. Each team gets two runs that are 15 minutes to complete their four tasks. The best score from the two runs is kept. This score, along with their presentation and marketing display scores, give the final placement for the competition.
Along with the R.O.V. they had to make a business plan, create a marketing poster, and present themselves to the judges, convincing them that the Wahkiakum Aquabots were the right company to hire for the job in the future. The Aquabots were the only team in the Scout class able to bring two "beacons" up to the surface. This was a huge accomplishment achieved by team work and communicating directions to the pilot, Peter Vik. The judges noticed their teamwork as well as their great team spirit. They wore t-shirts purchased by Brusco Tug and Barge and robot hats crocheted by Jessica Vik. The cheers and high fives were noticed around the pool side. The Wahkiakum Aquabots were given the "Team Spirit" award. The Wahkiakum Aquabots took 5th place overall, excelling in the product demo and marketing display. The kids are already thinking of ways to make things better for next year.
A huge thanks to Cathlamet Public Works for opening the pool for us to practice in, to 4-H for the funding, the Wahkiakum High School for the work space, the M.A.T.E. Center and Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center for hosting the competition, Brusco Tug and Barge for the t-shirts and to the team leaders: Ryan Bouts, Ron Wright and Jessica Vik.