J-L Robotics Team


Johannesburg-Lewiston Schools: Team shows off robot; principals present reports
By Jil Schult, Staff Writer - Gaylord Herald Times

LEWISTON The Johannesburg-Lewiston (J-L) High School robotics team demonstrated this year’s robot to the school board during Monday’s regular meeting in Lewiston.

Students showed how the robot moves, picking up a large ball, while robotics coach Tony Fortin explained the program, noting a benefit that one student from the team earned a robotics scholarship for $8,000. Craig Marsh, assistant coach, also attended the meeting.

Johannesburg-Lewiston Robotics team competes at Grand Valley State
By Jil Schult, Staff Writer - Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG — The Johannesburg-Lewiston (J-L) High School Robotics Team went to Grand Valley State University for the regional competition over the weekend, coming in 23rd among the 54 teams. Although they won’t be heading to the world competition at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga., the team fared pretty well, according to Tony Fortin, J-L High School drafting, CAD teacher and robotics coach.

More than 1,500 teams compete worldwide, Fortin said. The fate of the competition hinged on a match that resulted in penalties on three separate incidents. Teams are randomly selected, matching three robots against three robots. “Of our eight matches, we never had the same partner,” said Fortin. “You generally don’t have the same opponent more than once.” They ended the competition with four wins and four losses.

“We did pretty good, actually,” said Fortin. “We had a very good, reliable, robust robot that never broke down.” Fortin said they received several compliments on their ’bot and were the only team that used boat shrink wrap on the sides.

According to the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Web site, the robots challenge started in 1992 with 28 teams in a New Hampshire high school gym. The program now reaches more than 150,000 students.

Fortin said students received a box of parts on Jan. 5 and had six weeks to design, build and test the robot before shipping the finished project to the judges.
The robot left J-L High School Feb. 18. Superintendent Jim Hilgendorf noted that after seeing last year’s robot buzzing around the school halls, twice as many students joined the team this year.

Great Lakes Energy gives J-L Robotics Team $2,000 boost
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG - The Johannesburg-Lewiston (J-L) High School Robotics team has received a $2,000 grant from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund.

The grant will be used for the 2008 U.S. First High School Robotics Challenge season, according to Anthony Fortin, J-L vocational education teacher who mentors the extracurricular team.

"We're made possible entirely by donations," explained Fortin of the importance of the grant. "This not only helps add to the amount required for annual entry fee, it keeps the team going from year to year."

Besides the entry fee for the challenge, Fortin said the monies help with expenses such as hotels, meals and parts to supplement the kit provided with the entry fee. He noted competition guidelines permit teams spend not more than $3,500 to supplement their standard kit.

Last year's 12-member rookie team finished ninth out of 54 teams, after competing against the top teams in the world at the West Michigan Regional. The U.S. First High School Robotics Challenge is a worldwide 1300 plus team competition.

This year's team, comprised of 14 members, is anxiously awaiting the season kick-off on January 5th, reported Fortin. At that time, the year's challenge is outlined, and each team is given its kit of parts. That leads into a six-week, design-build-test and ship period for the competition at Grand Valley State University.

Members of the J-L High School Robotics Team are high school students in good academic standing, of both genders, of any grade level, and with many varying abilities.

For any additional information go to www.usfirst.org or contact Fortin at 989-731-4420, ext. 438.

Two J-L graduates from last year's robotics team have gone on to pursue engineering degrees: Tim Gallaway at Lake Superior State University; and T.C. Marsh at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Members of Great Lakes Energy support the People Fund by voluntarily rounding up their bills to the next highest dollar. The rounded up amount is distributed to nonprofit organizations and charitable activities that benefit people in communities served by the cooperative.
Contact Great Lakes Energy for more details.


J-L Robotics Team 2006-07

Updated 6/18/08
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