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Jemison robotics team places second in nation

The Jemison High School robotics team was recognized on Tuesday after finishing second in a nationwide engineering competition. Pictured are Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock, Sawyer Smith, Dylan Levering, Jemison Principal Diane Calloway, Fletcher Brantley, Brynn Elliott, and state representatives April Weaver and Jimmy Martin. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

The Jemison High School robotics team was recognized on Tuesday after finishing second in a nationwide engineering competition. Pictured are Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock, Sawyer Smith, Dylan Levering, Jemison Principal Diane Calloway, Fletcher Brantley, Brynn Elliott, and state representatives April Weaver and Jimmy Martin. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

By Anthony Richards | anthony.richards@northchiltonadvertiser.com

The robotics team at Jemison High School took the next step in its growth by finishing in second place at a nationwide competition.

Jemison earned the honor in the category of engineering technology problem solving.

“It was definitely a lot of hard work, and it feels really good to get recognized,” team member Dylan Levering said.

The team includes six members: Levering, Fletcher Brantley, Brynn Elliott, Sawyer Smith, Shianne Conn and Jack Bragg.

According to team sponsor Brooke Elliott, the program has been in existence at Jemison for the past three years, with most of the members being in place since it began.

“I’ve always liked engineering, and they had never had anything like it at Jemison,” Brantley said. “I’m always up for new things, and I can definitely use it going forward into college.”

The competition put the student’s skills to the test by providing materials and asking the teams to build a hovercraft.

“It had to stay in the air for at least two minutes and land on a target,” Brooke Elliott said.

Jemison’s craft successfully landed on the target but was beaten by less than a second of airtime by a team from Pennsylvania.

“It’s not easy stuff, and the judges surprise us every year,” Brantley said.

Jemison’s robotics program and interest in engineering has grown rapidly since the program started in three years ago.

“I’ve had them since the eighth grade,” Brooke Elliott said. “We’ve worked from Legos all the way to Vex Robotics. We’re using programming, mechanical engineering and electrical skills.”

The team is a member of the Technology Student Association, which hosted the national event in Dallas.

Representative April Weaver of Shelby County presented a resolution to the team on Tuesday in recognition of the team’s success.

“I’ve seen a lot more people join since we’ve had the success,” Brynn Elliott said. “It’s been interesting to travel and meet with other people.”

According to Elliott, the students on the team go to the W.A. LeCroy Career Technical Center each day.

The team won the state competition last year and will attempt to earn a consecutive title next week.

“We think a different way than most people, and being on this team allows us to use those skills,” Smith said. “This allows us to have something that we can call our own.”