The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

December 19, 2013

Precision Machining seniors preparing for robotics competition

JEFFERSON — Technology is a big part of the focus at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus. Using the most cutting-edge technology available, A-Tech students are being prepared to continue their education or begin their careers after graduating. One way instructors prepare students is through projects that not only pass along the knowledge it will take to be successful, but also make learning fun and interesting.

A-Tech’s Precision Machining program is working on a very interesting project. The senior class, with the help of their instructor Ron Maurer, has taken on the task of building a robot to compete in the National Robotics League (NRL). The main goal of the NRL competition is to be the “last robot standing” in a competition where two robots battle head to head in a three-minute match to destroy the other team’s robot.

Mr. Maurer found out about the National Robotics League in 2009 while on a business trip in Chicago. One of the presenters he came across was promoting the competition, and he was very interested to see if this project could be used in the classroom. After teaching the program for A-Tech for three years, Mr. Maurer contacted the National Robotics League and entered his Senior Precision Machining class in the competition.

The students and their robot must follow very specific rules so that the competition is fair and safe for all involved. One of the details the students must pay close attention to is the robot itself. It can be no wider than 3 feet, and if the robot has any type of wheel or track it cannot exceed 15 pounds. If the robot does not have wheels (for example, a hovercraft) the maximum weight is 20 pounds. The robots built for NRL are allowed to conceal weapons to assist the robot on a successful win but there are rules as to what weapons they can use as well. Some rules are put in place to provide fair competition, such as the robots are not allowed to have any devices that interfere with battery or operating systems of other robots. This rule ensures that each competitor has at least the opportunity to compete. Other rules are for the safety of the students and spectators such as a ban on flammable materials or liquids that could spill out during the battle.

Text Only
School Columnists
  • Edgewood High School Edgewood prepares for new academy-style classes

    As April rolls around, Edgewood is putting on more fantastic events.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Geneva High School GHS stuents share talents, tackle tough issues

    Geneva’s got talent! Need proof of that? The ninth annual Geneva High School Talent Show will be held at 7 p.m. April 22 in the high school auditorium. Anonymous judges in the audience will choose first, second, and third places from the solo and group acts, and the audience will get to choose their favorite. All winners will receive a prize.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand Valley High School Project Princess makes prom a possibility

    As prom season approaches, many teenage girls are in the pursuit of finding the perfect dress. However, sometimes the “perfect dress” can have an overwhelming price tag.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Conneaut High School Conneaut celebrates the magic of Disney

    Before Conneaut students’ spring break, the high school choir and band members opened up the wonderful world of Disney to their audience.

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jefferson Area High School JAHS band earns superior score at district contest

    After months of hard work, preparation and practice, the Jefferson Area High School Symphonic Band achieved their goal – the honor of receiving a Superior score of “I” at district contest which was held March 14 at Howland High School. Not only did the band receive a composite score of I, but they received a I from each of the four judges at contest. The phenomenal feat of receiving straight ones at contest has not occurred in at least three decades according to the available files at JHS, which date back to 1984.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand River Academy Ski trip makes the most of hard winter

    This winter has been hard. It's been hard on the roads and residents who have had to stay indoors.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeside High School Tournaments boost school-spirit

    The competitive nature of the Lakeside High School community is alive and well this spring, with the excitement of the annual class tournaments. The two-day event which took place March 27 and 28, pits grade levels against one another in a healthy battle for pride and bragging rights. These activities have been a tradition at the school since its inception in 2007, and even find their roots at Harbor High School long before. Planned and orchestrated by the Student Council, the tournaments are a definite way to boost morale throughout the school community.

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pymatuning Valley High School PVHS making a difference

    Many obstacles appear every day in life, and Pymatuning Valley students are volunteering much time in order to help ease the burdens of others. Throughout the month of March and continuing Pymatuning Valley students are playing an active role in fund raising for local families. This has already taken place through a benefit dinner, Blackout Dance and Middle School Spirit Week. PV students are gearing up for the PV Laker Mini Relay For Life and the annual Ride 4 thEm event.

    March 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • A-Tech A-Tech student from Hungary preparing to become U.S. citizen

    Melinda Lastyak is a senior in the graphic communications program at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus and a former student of Jefferson Area Local Schools. What makes her interesting is that she is actually an immigrant from Hungary. Lastyak moved with her mother to the United States in 2008. She was born and raised in downtown Budapest.

    March 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • St. John School St. John drama club to stage 'Bye Bye Birdie'

    It has been a big year for St. John’s drama club, from a sold out play last spring, to new curtains and now preparing for their quickly approaching musical, “Bye Bye Birdie.”

    March 27, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video