Story/Photo credit: COL (Ret.) Frederick O. Stepat
As the Senior Army Instructor, I want to recognize our TKA JROTC Robotics team for their incredible success this year. Both me and SFC(R) Robert A. Clements, AI, are very proud of our TKA Knights BN JROTC VEX Robotics team effort this year and want to specially recognize the great job our VEX Robotics Team Commander Cadet Captain Caitlyn Kirschner and our JROTC team who put forth incredible effort in our second full VEX Robotics season. When our first VEX Robotics equipment arrived late in 2020, the overlap with COVID-19 prevented the team from competing in anything other than a virtual environment. However, for the 2021-2022 competition game Tipping Point, the team leveraged what was learned the previous year to qualify for a spot in the JROTC National Championship in Dallas, TX by achieving a high Robot Skills Score on the Global Skills List. This year we are the number one and number two JROTC team in the state of Georgia, and the ninth, and 32 (respectively) best JROTC team in the nation. I want to show great appreciation and send a special thanks to our outstanding mentors Mr. Quincy Acklen and Mr. Michael Kirschner for their efforts and contributions to our program. The team meets three times a week to learn basic design, programming, engineering, and project management principles and then apply what they learn in labs where they are hands-on with a variety of advanced engineering equipment necessary to develop their designs for the competition game. These tournaments, hosted around the Atlanta metro area by some of the best STEM schools in the state, provide a real-life “laboratory” for testing the team’s ideas against other competitors in the “real world” and provides an excellent platform for learning. The team is happy to report that the season is not over and we’re looking forward to improving our national ranking in the competition scheduled for 27 to 29 April 2023 at VEX Worlds in Dallas. Thanks to all the leadership, families, friends, and students for their support!