OMS to host robotics competition Dec. 9

OMS robotics team TOWR 5291 will be one of the competitors at the Dec. 9 event. Photo provided.
OMS robotics team TOWR 5291 will be one of the competitors at the Dec. 9 event. Photo provided.

Oxford robotics teams normally have to travel to compete, but on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9, the middle school’s three robotics teams will host a robotics competition and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) qualifying event on their home turf at 1420 Lakeville Rd.
Opening ceremonies are at 10:30 a.m., Dec. 9, and will be followed by official rounds starting at 11 a.m. Closing ceremonies are scheduled at 6:30 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.
OMS robotics teams include TOWR 5291, the Cyborg Cats Team 11231 and the ElektraKatz Team 11230. They contain a total of 44 students in grades 6-8.
This will be the first FTC qualifying event that’s ever been held at the middle school, according to parent mentor Karen Spezia.
Oxford teams will show off their latest robot, which they have designed, built, and Java-programmed with the guidance of coaches and mentors for this year’s Relic Recovery Challenge.  Each Oxford team will compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format against 35 other teams’ creations.  Teams will also be required to submit an engineering notebook, as well as compete in a judged presentation.
According to Spezia, the program gives youth an opportunity to learn about technology, programming, and science in general.
“It provides a chance to problem solve and to work together as a team,” said Spezia. “It also gives them the chance to apply a lot of the same concepts in the ‘real world’ and to see how the things they create for their robot can translate into career paths.”
The Oxford robotics teams have been gearing up for the competition, working with their robots several times a week since the summer under the guidance of coaches Ian Haden, Ken Koscica, Sandy Olheiser, Mike Schmalenberg, Dennis Hurst and Russ Mansfield.
For more information about the organization, visit www.firstinspires.org.

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