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The original item was published from 5/31/2016 11:09:21 AM to 9/1/2016 12:15:05 AM.

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Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Posted on: May 31, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Cape May County 4-H Robotics Team Takes First Place

Robot contest photo

The “Fuzzy Logic” 4-H Robotics Club recently took first place in the Middle School Division of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) 2016 Robot Challenge. The fifth and sixth grade students are part of a 4-H club that meets after school at Cape Christian Academy. The students had to build the robot from a block of wood, 4 motors, 16 D-cell batteries and a supply of other parts provided in the kit.

Sixth grader Hannah Seningen was one of four members on the team. “Building the robot was a lot of work. We also had to pick a theme. We chose Bad Piggies from Angry Birds. Our robot carried the piggies to victory,” exclaimed Seningen. The students made matching shirts and carried a team flag around during the competition. Josias Rodriguez said the hardest part for him was learning how to walk the robot and communicate with his team mate who controlled the other half of the robot’s movement. The other two members of the Bad Piggies include Justin Popdan and Keely Calloway.

Students were judged in four areas: Written Report, Fabrication, Track Score and Oral Presentation. Written reports were due two weeks before the contest and described building the robot, working together, problems encountered and how they were overcome. Fabrication judged the team on how well they assembled the robot and followed directions. The track score was determined by how quickly the robot finished the course with penalties for touching the robot or making repairs during the course. Finally, the students had to present an oral report summarizing the whole process and stating what they learned from the competition.

The high school team, comprised of Rebekah Rosenberg, David Heacock and David Spriggs, also placed well, receiving an honorable mention among stiff competition. The three students picked Star Wars as their theme and raced their AT-AT to the finish line in 8 minutes and 15 seconds, the fourth fastest time in the senior division.

“Students love robotics, and it’s a lot of fun- but it’s also a lot of work,” said Mr. John Spriggs, the 4-H club leader. “This competition places emphasis on the mechanics of building a robot and presenting how you built it and what you learned. I also love teaching the students how to program the robots and how to think logically.” The next major event for the robotics club will be the 4-H Fair from July 21st -23rd. The club will be providing hands-on activities in robotics during the fair. For more information on joining the robotics, or any 4-H club, call (609) 465-5115 x 605.

The 4-H Youth Development Program is part of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth grades K – 13 on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, natural origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Keep up with the latest in 4-H happenings by liking us on facebook at Cape May County 4-H Foundation and visiting our website at!

Contact: Linda Horner, Cape May County 4-H Program Coordinator, 609-465-5115 ext. 606,

Photo: Justin Popdan, Keely Calloway, Hannah Seningen and Josias Rodriquez take 1st place in the Middle School Division at the IEEE’s 2016 Robot Challenge.

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