A local 4-H Club has won a prestigious award at the worldwide competition of high school robotics competitions -- the FIRST 2012 Robotics Competition.
Bit by Bit 4-H #3784 FIRST robotics team won the Cooperation Award in the Galileo Division World FIRST Robotics Championship, held on April 28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
During the last match on the first day, the team's robot arm was twisted and bent in a collision with another robot while trying to balance on a bridge.
Volunteers in the NASA-sponsored machine shop were able to straighten the arm without distorting it, and the robot was quickly reassembled.
On the second day of competition, the robot experienced communication errors and the team worked for several hours to correct the problem.
The third day of competition saw the Bit by Bit 4-H #3784 FIRST robotics team ranking 74 out of 100 in their division.
"Because our team worked with other teams both on and off the field, we were given the Cooperation Award," said Peggy Painter, Bit by Bit 4-H robotics program director.
"The team from Mountain Home, that had chosen Bit by Bit for the final alliance at the regional competition where we qualified for the championship, did advance to finals and ultimately won the world title," Painter said.
During the final matches of the competition, spectators were urged to move away from the upper tier seating and away from windows while severe storms pummeled the arena and surrounding area.
"There were 400 teams from across the nation and around the world, the majority of whom had never experienced a tornado and did not recognize the danger," Painter said.
Drive team members included: Jordan Painter, driver and mechanic, of Aurora; Ashley Painter, programmer and control systems manager, 18, of Verona; Andrew Rausch, auxiliary systems driver and mechanic, 15, of Monett; Trevor Gaffery, robot transport and ball feeder, 16, of Willard; and Evan McMahon, robot transporter and ball feeder, 13, of Republic.
Pit crew members were Maria Townsend, mechanic and sergeant-at-arms, 19, of Springfield; and Maranda Townsend, safety manager and pit boss, 16, of Springfield.
Team spirit members included: John Rausch, 13, of Monett; Jack Pendleton, 8, of Marionville; Lillie Thomas, 13, of Verona; and Noel French, 13, of Verona.