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West Ashley High School Robotics Team Earns 1st Place at Regional Qualifying Event

Mr. Nicholas Holmes,  Mathematics and Mechatronics Teacher, and Robotics and Trebuchet Team Advisor at West Ashley High School, provided the following report on the WAHS VEX Robotics Team’s success in their most recent event on December 10, 2016 at the College Park/Cane Bay Regional Qualifier in Ladson.

964607df-vex-logo1All 4 teams from West Ashley HS competed against programs from high schools throughout the state, including Goose Creek, Bluffton, Beaufort, Columbia, and Orangeburg.

Two WAHS teams were part of the 3-team alliance that won the tournament.  WAHS students also won the Excellence Award, Design Award, Programming Skills Competition, and Driver Skills Competition.wahs-2

“Through our teams’ success at the event, we earned the opportunity to move on to the SC State Championship and the CREATE VRC National Championship in Council Bluffs, Iowa.” said Holmes. 

The WAHS team was successful in the event due to their excellent teamwork. From the design to the drivers on the day of the event, it was a team effort. One specific factor in robotics is the code the programs the actions and abilities of the robot. WAHS students used a multidimensional array systems to calibrate our motors in real time.  This code recalibrates our motors every 50 milliseconds to make sure they are doing precisely what we want them to do.  Even if an outside force acts on our robot, gyroscopes, accelerometers, encoders, and sonar sensors will reposition the robot so that it will continue to complete the required task without fail.

“The coding used for this event was an original idea by one of our senior students, Noah Combs.  He is also the driver of our best robot and the winner of the skills challenges and excellence award.  Noah came to me one day, after leaving his AP Computer Science class, and told me that he thinks we can use an array set to calibrate the motors.  Motor calibration is something the team had been battling for over a year.

Within 30 minutes, Noah had scratched out a basic code that did the job we have been trying to figure out since the beginning of last season!!” said Mr. Holmes.  WAHS robots have the ability to operate our robot at an advanced rate of precision.

“We are thankful to have engineers serving as mentors for our team from the Army Corps of Engineers and Cummins Charleston. We also remain extremely thankful for the financial support provided to our team from the Charleston chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.” added Mr. Holmes.

Thank you to Mr. Holmes, his amazing students, and all the parents and other terrific supporters of the award winning West Ashley High School Robotics Team! 
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WAHS Robotics Takes 1st Place in VEX Competition

Vex Robotics Comp logo24 teams from throughout the state competed in the Oct. 24, 2015 VEX Robotics Qualifier – “The Cougar Challenge” at Lady’s Island Middle School in Beaufort, SC, but just one team left with the FIRST PLACE TROPHY: West Ashley High School’s VEX Robotics team led by their advisor Mr. Nicholas Holmes.

Congratulations to the WAHS Wildcats robotics team on their victory, and earning the opportunity to compete in the Palmetto State Championship this spring. IMG_1608

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Below is the list of teams that competed in the event – for the final results click here. 

Team Team Name Organization Location
120E Green & Gold Robotics Spring Valley High School Columbia, South Carolina, United States
916A Bobcats Center for Advanced Technical Studies Chapin, South Carolina, United States
916B IronCATS Center for Advanced Technical Studies Chapin, South Carolina, United States
2533A Robotic Engineers Dutch Fork Middle School Irmo, South Carolina, United States
2533B Auto Robots Dutch Fork Middle School Irmo, South Carolina, United States
6318 Cougars Lady’s Island Middle School Beaufort, South Carolina, United States
6318B Cougar Robotics Lady’s Island Middle School Beaufort, South Carolina, United States
6318C Cougar Assassins Lady’s Island Middle School Beaufort, South Carolina, United States
7432 M.T. Brains Dutch Fork High School Irmo, South Carolina, United States
8624 CVK (Complex VEX Kids) Bluffton Middle School Bluffton, South Carolina, United States
8659G Binary Bots Goose Creek High GOOSE CREEK, South Carolina, United States
8659H Deez Nuts and Bolts Goose Creek High GOOSE CREEK, South Carolina, United States
8926 Combined IQ Oakbrook Preparatory School Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
9118 Orcas Whale Branch Middle School Seabrook, South Carolina, United States
9118B Orcas Whale Branch Middle School Seabrook, South Carolina, United States
9168A Bimbots Bluffton High School Bluffton, South Carolina, United States
9168B Bluffton High School Bluffton High School Bluffton, South Carolina, United States
9447A Team Toss Up Palmetto Scholars Academy North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
9447B Knights Who Say Ni Palmetto Scholars Academy North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
9447C Millennium Robotics Palmetto Scholars Academy North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
9447D Phoenix Uprising Palmetto Scholars Academy North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
9447E Phoenix Rebellion Palmetto Scholars Academy North Charleston, South Carolina, United States
9623A West Ashley HS West Ashley High School Charleston, South Carolina, United States
9623B West Ashley HS – B West Ashley High School Charleston, South Carolina, United States

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West Ashley HS VEX Robotics Team #9623 Places 2nd at State Competition

After finishing in 1st place at the regional Lowcountry VEX Robotics Challenge on February 21, 2015, the West Ashley High School Robotics Team #9623, competed and finished 2nd overall out of 45 teams from throughout the state in this past weekend’s state competition held at Spring Valley HS in Columbia!

WAHS VEX Robotics team adviser Mr. Nicholas Holmes gave this recap: “part of the event requires teams to partner with teams from other schools,  and we selected the team “Combined IQ” from Oakbrook Prep School to be our ally (just as we did at the Lowcountry VEX Challenge).  We swept the first and second round of playoffs.  The finals were a “best-of-3″ match against a team from Anderson Districts 1 & 2 Career and Technology Center (ACTC).  The first match went to ACTC and we won the second match.  The state championship came down to a single tie-breaker game, which we ultimately lost.  Despite this heartbreaking loss, WAHS is very proud to be ranked as the #2 robotics program in the state of SC!”

Here are some additional pictures from the event – Congratulations to Mr. Holmes and his amazing students on their success at the statewide VEX Robotics event!

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West Ashley HS VEX Robotics Team Earns Spot in State Competition

West Ashley HS had three robots competing in the recent Lowcounry VEX Challenge.IMG_0740

Mr. Nicholas Holmes, WAHS Robotics adviser provided the following recap of the event hosted by his high school:

“Of our 3 teams, our WAHS-A team was the most successful with a record of 8-1, and finished the qualification matches ranked as the #1 overall seed. The team went on to win the first round of playoffs easily, buy missed making it to the final match by 3 points! The team also earned top honors with the 3rd best autonomous program and the 7th best driver. (These are all out of 25 teams).”

“The WAHS-A  robot qualified to participate in the South Carolina State robotics competition on March 7th.  If they are one of the top 3 teams, they will be invited to compete in the World robotics championship in Kentucky in early April!”

“Last year, our robot made it to the state competition but was only invited because we placed it on a waitlist. This year, we earned our spot and have a legitimate shot of taking this thing all the way!!”, Mr. Holmes added.

Students paid special tribute to Mr. Phillip Beyel, a former teacher at WAHS that moved out of town recently, by attaching his picture to one of the competition robots.

Special thanks to Cummins Charleston for their investment of time and talent in the WAHS VEX Robotics team!

Congratulations to Mr. Holmes and his students on hosting a terrific event, and on their success in this robotics competition – we wish them good luck in the state event!