Members of the Central Academy Middle School Robotics teams, sponsored by 4-H, have been working on a First Lego League project called “Senior Solutions.” Each team has partnered with a local senior to better understand the challenges faced by this demographic, and was tasked with creating something that would keep seniors independent, engaged, and connected.
Each team met the goal by developing a mechanical prototype for a solution to a challenge faced by seniors. The Robo-Knights created an adaptable grip for hand tools and other utensils. The Knight Grip meets the needs of their partner, Mr. Johnny Hix, who has rheumatoid arthritis. The Patriots, with the help of their senior partner, Mr. Merle Merritt, have designed a cane that converts from single to quad when the user begins to lose balance. At the suggestions of Ms. Kay Brundage, grandmother of one of the team members, the cane also offers custom components for the fashion-savvy senior.
Both teams built robots to perform autonomous tasks, worked on the Senior Solutions project, learned about teamwork and received input and help from local citizens and businesses. The teams would like to thank Ms. Patti Smith from the Virginia Veterans Care Center, Lois Larson from Home Instead Senior Care, Ms. Kristi Fitz and the engineering team at Altec, Mr. Merle Merritt, Mr. Johnny Hix, Lisa Sphar of Advance Auto, Mrs. Veronica Spradlin of BTEC, Ms. Kaylene Brandage, and Mrs. Donna Haley from Lowe’s for their help, advice, and assistance with this project. We would like to thank 4-H for their continued support of our program and state that we are proud to be a 4-H team.
The CAMS/4-H Robotic Patriots won the Division One Regional Championship in Lynchburg on Saturday, November 10th. We move on to the State Championship tournament in Harrisonburg in December! The CAMS/4-H Robotic Knights won the Robot Design award in Division Two. This is 5 years in a row that CAMS/4-H Robotics have earned a spot at the State Championship tourney. The Robotic Patriots and Knights are coached by Randy Brinkley, Wendy Grimshaw, George Golder, Brett Golder, and Thomas Harrison.
We wish to congratulate our fellow team at Buchanan Elementary for their 2nd Place finish at the Regional Championship. Many of the members of the teams at CAMS are veterans of the Buchanan teams and we look forward to continuing this close relationship.
–submitted by Randy Brinkley