J-L Robotics Team

Congratulations J-L Robotics Team!

A great end to J-L robotics season as team competes at State Championships
Gaylord Herald Times

JOHANNESBURG —  The Johannesburg-Lewiston robotics team, Army of Sum, competed at the 2012 Michigan FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition State Championships April 12-14 at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

With the financial strains the J-L team had, the championships were looking to be out of the question, but with a grant from FIRST in Michigan, the team was able to participate.

Gail Alpert, vice president and secretary of FIRST in Michigan, stated, “The Army of Sum is one of the best in the state and deserved the right to join the other top 63 ranked teams at the State Championships.” Ranked 48th out of 193 teams statewide, at the end of competition the team still had an overwhelming victory. “The Army of Sum may not have finished at the top in the state, but we achieved the goals that we set out to accomplish,” coach and lead mentor Rich VanDeKerchove said. “The competition consists of teams made up of 50 to 100 students with corporate sponsorship, endless funds, dozens of mentors and engineers. We have 10 great students, a mechanic, a housewife and a Baptist pastor. With leftover parts from past seasons and scrap metal, we built a great machine. It was a tremendous victory for the team.” This year’s competition, the Rebound Rumble, featured robots that could shoot baskets.

At the state competition, the J-L team received two FIRST awards: No. 1 in pit safety and the Imagery Award for attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance. The team also took five peer awards: best pits, most awesome mascot, way downtown (longest shot of the championships), barrier breaker durability and coolest uniforms.

The State Championships were taped by Detroit Public TV and will be televised in May on several networks throughout the state. Just because the competition season is over doesn’t mean The Army of Sum is done being seen. There are many plans for this team yet this year, including demonstrations, community service, fundraiser's and maybe even a Rebound Rumble game with several other FIRST Robotics teams from around the state.
The J-L robotics team has become very popular with other teams around the state, and this recognition will hopefully aid with sponsorship.

“We are striving to keep this self-funded team going strong for many years, and it can never be possible without local and corporate support,” VanDeKerchove said.

Congrats to our Robotics Team!

J-L robotics team successful in 2 competitions
Gaylord Herald Times

The Johannesburg-Lewiston High School FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics team 2246, Army of Sum, saw great success at two recent competitions.

The team ended up ranked 15th at the Gull Lake district event, made it to the semifinals and received the Imagery Award for attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance.

Then in the Traverse City District, the team found more success, ranking eighth, making it to the quarterfinals and becoming alliance captains. The team also received a safety award and the quality award for machine robustness in concept and fabrication.

“Our winning team and machine was recognized as a quality standard of FIRST that displayed a high degree of excellence and stood out as an example to other teams,” said team mentor Carla VanDeKerchove. “At this time, we are ranked 19th out of 197 teams in Michigan. We could possibly be ranked high enough in scores to go to the State Championships April 12-14, but we will not know for a couple of weeks due to several more competitions going on in the upcoming weekends.”

VanDeKerchove noted, however, that due to financial constraints, the Traverse City District will probably be the team’s last competition.

“We would like to thank our sponsors for their financial support,” VanDeKerchove said. “Without them we would not have achieved everything that we did. Our in-kind and money donors made it possible. Thank you to such a great team. We didn’t even know if we would be able to compete this season, but we stuck together and achieved a great accomplishment.”

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Photo Courtesy of Gaylord Herald Times

Congratulations to the Robotics team on another outstanding performance on
Saturday 3/10 in Traverse City. They were awarded the Quality Award
and Hard Hat Safety Award.
They came in overall 6th place out of 40 teams.

Way to go Team #2246.

Congratulations to the Robotics team on a great performance
in Gull Lake and for winning the 2012 Gull Lake District Imagery Award.

J-L robotics team successfully tests robot
Gaylord Herald Times

FIRST in Michigan Robotics

March 9th-10th
Robotics Competition - Traverse City

The JLHS Robotics Team, The Army of Sum, is back and
just as determined as ever to make all Cardinals proud. Because of their success in the past,
they were recently awarded with a grant worth $8000. The grant will allow them to
travel to competitions in Gull Lake on March 1st and to Traverse City on March 9th.


Whatever it takes!

"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
-Dean Kamen, Founder

"Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."

First Robotics

We are the Johannesburg-Lewiston Robotics Team #2246, The Army of Sum. This is our sixth year as a team. We currently have 15 team members.

The past season we placed 44th in the state at the end of our season out of 177 teams. We received several awards: The Gracious Professionalism, Innovation in Control Imagery,
and the Underwriter Laboratories Industrial Safety Award. To date, in 5 years of existence, alumni have won well over $14,000 in scholarships to attend college.

We are taught CAD, programming robots with computer languages, and building a machine from raw materials and components we specify. We also learn teamwork, scheduling, leadership, networking and responsibility. We promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.) The team's theme is inspired by our nation's armed forces and we proudly support all branches of military.

We are seeking a partnership with the community to continue to provide
an alternate program for students.

The team operates on a budget of up to $30,000 per year. Our goal is to qualify and compete at the World Championships, which are held in St. Louis, Missouri.

What we offer in return is the commitment to work hard to continue spreading the message of STEM and building the best machine we can think of for the challenge.

The team is a non-profit organization that is completely self supporting, and is funded by donations from the community. It is supervised and mentored by volunteers. 100% of all funding goes to team expenses, which include entry fees, travel expenses, uniforms, materials and promotional items. We are also open to demonstrations at special gatherings, parties, and parades. All of which spread the word of STEM and your support.

We are a non-profit organization.

You can help support our team with any type of contribution.

You can choose to support our team with sponsorship. We will proudly display your business name on our robot and in our pit area. We can also hand out any promotional items that you wish to provide. Your business will get Statewide coverage at events that are attended by thousands.

We need your financial support!

Rich & Carla VanDeKerchove

Updated 4/29/12
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