A group of underdogs in McKinney accomplished a pretty impressive feat.
They are on a rookie robotics team that took big honors at a regional contest and now move on to a world championship.
The McKinney Mercenary Robotics is a made up of high school students in public school and those who are home schooled along with adult mentors,
They came together and racked up two awards in their very first robotics competition.
Their win in the inaugural Brazos Valley Regional for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition (FRC) now moves the team from regional competition to a world championship.
"The team had just six weeks to design and build a robot to complete various tasks, the most difficult of which was getting the roughly 80 pound robot to ascend a rope," said volunteer Mary Mobley. "Facing real life engineering challenges, the students have to quickly make changes during the competition. Working out of a team member’s garage and game room, the rookie team faced tough completion from much larger teams with more funding and dedicated work spaces with full workshops."
Dawn Brosie, whose son Cole is on the team, tells NBC5 the journey began last summer when the group started to form. She credits mentors Mobley and Jason Bolen for taking a group of highly motivated kids to a new level.
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"The passion they have for this small group (especially compared to the other schools that we have competed against) is immeasurable beyond words," Brosie wrote. "Mary, has raised money by reaching out to businesses in the community, applying for grants and continues to do so. Jason, dedicated many nights, given up his vacation days to help the students build their robot in just 6 weeks and attend competitions. They traveled great distances to their competitions arrange demonstrations within the community. I can’t say enough about these two exceptional individuals."
Mercenary Robotics won the Highest Rookie Seed Award, as well as, the Rookie All Star Award. The Rookie All Star Award automatically qualifies the team to compete in the FIRST Championship which will be held in Houston April 19-22.
FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to promote a culture where science and technology are celebrated.
FIRST programs engage students in exciting mentor based programs that build science, engineering and technical skills, in addition to fostering competence in areas such as self-confidence, communication and leadership.
Mercenary Robotics is open to students from all three McKinney High Schools, as well as, home school students.
For more info please contact the team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.