Robotics Education Night and a top-secret robot were hits at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game Sept. 1, where the public had a chance to see school robotics teams in action and to find out how to participate, organizers said.
The Robotics Support Committee of the Grand Strand Technology Council set up the event, where Horry County’s competitive robotics teams from fourth grade through high school gave interactive demonstrations around the stadium concourse. The group formed after the success of the Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, which was held in Myrtle Beach for the first time in March, and aims to keep local momentum high for robotics.
“Everyone was enthusiastic, and we’ve gotten a lot of response,” said John Sanders, tech council chairman.
School teams have been in need of more mentors, who can use their skills and real-world experience to assist the kids and teacher team leaders. The event allowed kids and adults to mingle, and attracted six new mentors, said Karen McIlrath, Horry County school board member and vice chairman of the robotics committee. Two of them are from the Conway area and will be able to help the Conway High School team, which had been in need of a mentor in order to continue, she said.
A new robot - modeled after the Pelicans’ mascot, Splash - also was unveiled at the game to throw out the first pitch. It was designed and built by Bucky Sellers, a pre-engineering teacher at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology, and his students.
“The kids and Bucky really outdid themselves,” McIlrath said. “It’s already getting personal appearance requests. It was a real crowd-pleaser.”
More mentors are always welcome for the program, and they can be matched with a team in any area of the county, McIlrath said. Sellers also will conduct a robotics mentor training session at 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at AAST, 895 International Blvd., Myrtle Beach. Dinner is included, but registration is required. Call McIlrath for more information at 997-5250.
Contact VICKI GROOMS at 443-2401 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_VickiGrooms.