Lions Club becomes HHS Robotics sponsor
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – The Hope Lions Club gave student technology opportunities at Hope High School a boost Thursday with a $300 donation to the HHS Robotics Team.

“Hope Lions Club is happy to have the opportunity to help enhance the education of our area youth,” Lions Club President Nancy Bailey said. “The success of our community depends on the future of our young people. Their success helps to ensure the future success of Hope and Hempstead County.”

The funds were presented to team sponsors Mark Reed and Tine Nicholson, both of whom teach at HHS, to assist in defraying costs for construction of a new competition robot and sending the team to statewide competition in Little Rock on March 9.

“I am thrilled to see the amount of positive support the community has shown for robotics, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education in general,” Reed said.

The team is currently constructing a new competition robot to specifications set for the FIRST Robotics regional contest. Design concepts for the “Stronghold 2016” event will require movement; the ability to grasp and recover objects; the ability to launch a projectile; maneuverability; and, the ability to defeat obstacles.

According to information from FIRST Robotics, the competition will be themed upon the siege of a medieval fortress, requiring teams to design weaponry robots that must be capable of both offense and defense. The challenge course between the two fortresses of the competing teams can be modified into some 10,000 different configurations; and, teams will not know what configuration they’re dealing with until the competition.

At least 20 schools in Arkansas have entered the contest, which is part of a larger worldwide series with a potential for winning students across the world to share in up to $25 million in college scholarships.

Design and execution in construction are to be done entirely by the students, with some technical assistance allowed by community volunteers, according to Reed.

Team members include Mason Henley, Johnny Luna, Tristan Martin, Hannah McCorkle, Ernesto DeLarosa, Gervon Pennington, Madison Powell, Daniel Dyer, and Benjamin Knight.