Three schools in the Comal Independent School District competed in the Texas BEST & UIL State Robotics Championship Dec. 5-7 at the Frisco Conference Center. Student teams from Spring Branch Middle School, Smithson Valley Middle School and Smithson Valley High School qualified for the state meet in late October.
These teams along with other robotics teams in the district spent countless hours preparing for this contest which requires engineering, problem-solving and teamwork to be successful.
“The BEST Robotics competition helps inspire and teach students about STEM and prepares them for actual work experience through its expanded program of engineering, design, marketing and programming instead of just being about building a robot,” said Clinton Trowbridge, a social studies teacher and robotics advisor at SBMS.
In addition to these three qualifying teams, four more campuses in Comal ISD organized competitive robotics teams this season including Pieper Ranch Middle School, Memorial Early College High School, Canyon High School and Canyon Lake High School.
The top three teams which advanced to state received honors during the qualifying meet known as SA BEST. The SVHS Iron Rangers placed second at the SA BEST meet with a score of 95.01 to qualify for the state meet. The team’s score was just a little more than half a point away from first place. In addition, the Iron Rangers placed fourth in the robot performance category and received the most sportsmanship award. During the state meet, the team placed third in the software design category and second in the most robust robot category, which is judged by the amount of maintenance needed between rounds.
The SBMS Wrangler Wrobotics team qualified for the state meet at SA BEST coming in seventh place and earning best table display and interview; and the SVMS Gearheads qualified in third place and earned best t-shirt design and best use of game theme.
This is the second year for the Wrangler Wrobotics team to qualify for the state meet, the fourth consecutive year for the Gearheads and second year for SVHS.
BEST Robotics organizes annual robotics competitions in order to introduce middle and high school students the fields of science and engineering. Students are given a box of raw materials from which to build a machine and six weeks to design and construct it.
-Pictured are all three Comal ISD robotics teams which qualified and competed in the Texas BEST and UIL State Robotics Championship meet Dec. 5-7 in Frisco. Photo submitted by Jennifer Backlund.
-Part of the SVHS Iron Rangers Robotics team.
-Medals and trophies earned by the SVHS Iron Rangers Robotics team.