Dorton Hosts Robotics Tourney
Because of the persistence of Dorton Robotics Coach Christi Lewis, her school became the host of Pike County’s first ever regional RCX Robotics Competition. “It was a great opportunity for the students to display their robotic skills,” Lewis said. “I have already confirmed my intention of hosting the tournament again next year. I am glad we were able to bring this tournament to Pike County and look forward to seeing it grow each year.”
Lewis helped Dorton Elementary School start a Robotics Team four years ago. For the past three years the team has been very successful. It was regional runner-up in 2015, regional champions in 2016 and regional runner-up in 2017. “The first three years we had to travel to Morehead State University to compete in the Regional Tournament, Lewis said. “This year Morehead decided to no longer host the tournament and we were asked to travel to Ashland to compete.”
So, Lewis contacted Doug Geiman, the RCX Coordinator, and asked if she and her school could host a regional tournament in Pike County. Dorton Elementary School hosted the first Pike County Regional Robotics Tournament on March 18, 2017.
Twelve schools competed in the elementary, middle and high school divisions. The first and second place teams of each division now advance to the state tournament that will be held at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky on April 12, 2017.
“Robotics is a great opportunity for students who have an interest in learning computer programming,” Lewis explained. “Students program the robot to complete missions.”
Rhonda Jarrell, Principal at Dorton said the school had never hosted such an event before. “I have hosted county-wide sports events but nothing of this magnitude,” she said. “The event itself was an accomplishment. It’s not many times that an elementary is the host for such things as this.” She added that she is, “extremely proud of Ms. Lewis and our school and am looking forward to hosting another one in 2018.”
The RCX Robotics Program began several years ago and was funded the first and second years through the Title I GEAR Up Program, said Federal Programs Director Robert Osborne. Some schools, like Dorton, chose to sustain the program. The regional tournament was, “A great opportunity for students to showcase their robotic, technical and problem-solving skills,” Osborne said. He sent out his congratulations to Lewis for accomplishing a very successful regional tournament.
The results are as follow: Elementary: Millard-First Place, Dorton-Second Place; Middle School: Valley Elementary- First Place, Dorton Second Place, Elkhorn City Third Place; High School: Betsy Layne First Place and Second Place; Belfry - had two teams, Shelby Valley and Pike Central - had two teams