SNOW HILL — Only in its second year, an impressive performance at a tournament across the bridge helped cement the Worcester County Robotics Team’s reputation as a breakout program this month.
“They’re really trying their hardest,” said Michelle Kosin, coach of the team and a science teacher at Snow Hill High School (SHHS).
The Worcester “Beach Bots” and their alliance of two other teams reached the finals in the Sept. 15 Battle O’ Baltimore robotics competition, eventually taking home second place against 26 total teams from Maryland and Pennsylvania.
The team, which consists of students from all across Worcester, has generated an incredibly positive response amongst educators for a variety of reasons. Often cited is the fact that the team promotes STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills, which has become very popular in recent years.
“It’s pure STEM,” said SHHS Principal Tom Davis.
Kosin explained that the robotics team challenges students to build their own machine and then compete with it in activities like a 3-on-3 mechanical basketball game, which was the premise for Battle O’ Baltimore.
“They’re seeing the applications of a lot of concepts that they’re learning,” said Davis, adding that the club also develops “problem solving strategies.”
With their recent second place finish in Baltimore, Davis also said that the club is operating in the same capacity as any school’s sports teams.
“This is no different than what my expectations are when our athletics teams would go away,” he said.
The added bonus with the Beach Bots, noted Kosin, is that the team is an alliance of students from across the county.
“They all get along really well,” she said, despite the fact that they are rivals in sports.
After their last performance, the team won’t have much down time before more competitions this autumn and winter.
Starting small last year, Beach Bots has increased to more than 50 active members, according to Kosin, and added a youth club called the First Lego League Team, which is mentored by members of the main team.
“We’re competing with kids from all over the country,” said Kosin.
All of the tournaments this year will be capped off by a June competition, the Atlantic Invitational or “AI, which Worcester will host.
“They want to make this the second largest tournament in the country,” said Kosin.