Students are preparing for April competition.
Johnston Community College is excited to announce the 29 members of the JoCo RoBos, its inaugural NC FIRST Robotics Team.
The team members range in age from freshmen to seniors and include students from Clayton High, Cleveland High, Corinth Holders High, North Johnston High, South Johnston High, Smithfield-Selma High, Johnston County Early College, Johnston County Middle College, Neuse Charter School, Swinney Christian Academy, and home schoolers.
Members of the team are: Reginald Harper Jr.; Sean Agnew; Will Bean; Lindsey Pearson; Ethan Smith; Zoe Ray; Amanda Smith; Natalie Plahuta; Zach Johns; Eric Johns; Abraham Flores; Troi Dixon; Jared Glover; Reichen Agbayani; Karsh Agbayani; Jasur Mirzakmedov; William Moody; Brapagaon Voyles; Cole Perkins; Luke Childers; Christian McAllister; Alexis Thrash; Ericka Allen; Kamil Ewais-Orozco; Benjamin Meserve; Bailey Sumner; Emily Byrum; and Isreal McDonald.
The team started meeting in November and is preparing to compete in the 2016 NC FIRST Robotics 5th District Competition, the premier engineering challenge for high school students.
In partnership with Campbell University, JCC is hosting this year's NC FIRST event April 2-3 at the Pope Convocation Center in Buies Creek. This year's theme is Sport for the Mind, combining the thrill of sports and the excitement of science and technology together.
JCC's new associate in engineering program is the team sponsor. Also, the team recently received the Argosy Foundation 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Rookie Grant, which will provide $6,000 for the team to compete over the next two years. NC FIRST is also contributing $2,000 for the JCC team.
JCC instructors Dr. Katherine Stevenson-Chavis, Lance Gooden, Aaron Brickman, Brian Worley, and Maxie Kirby are serving as team directors. Members of the JCC STEM Club are student coaches.
Kamil Ewais-Orozco, a sophomore at North Johnston High, said he is excited about being a member of the county's first robotics team. "I have always been a big fan of anything mechanic so I am very excited about helping plan and build our robot," he said.
Amanda Smith, a senior at Cleveland High, said the robotics team is a great opportunity to get first-hand experience with engineering.
"I'm excited about the challenge, the whole process of designing a robot and making it into a reality," she said. "We are also learning how to use time management, creative innovative solutions to problems, and become effective leaders and teammates which will help us with whatever we decide to do later in life."