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December 12, 2012

Showing true grit

GREENVILLE — Coming off of a defeat earlier this month in the VEX Robotics competition in Greenville, Greenville High School’s Jonathan Rea and Jonathan McClellen decided to change their strategy in the next competition Saturday in Garland.

Their plan paid off.

The 4148C Iron Cowboys won the state championship and qualified to compete in the world championship in Disneyland April 17 through 20 of 2013.

“It’s amazing that in the first year to be able to win and be able to qualify for the world championships,” Adrienne Emerson, robotics coach for Greenville High School said. “It’s really special to me and real special to the kids. They just really did the work.”

Emerson said the win showed how the students were able to think through and use problem solving skills after the team’s defeat the previous week.

“It takes this sort of person to take a failure as a learning experience,” she said. “I think that their character is just topnotch. It speaks volumnes about them.”

According to Emerson, the win not only showed the kids’ skills in robotics, but it also showed how determined they were to win.

“A lot of students would just give up after that loss,” she said. “These guys saw what they needed to do and worked hard for it.”

One of the challenges robotics teams face during competition is having to solve a problem on the fly if something malfunctions on the robot. Emerson said this skill can be carried over to whatever career field her students choose.

“To be able to make a mistake and quickly correct it shows problem-solving skills,” she said. “The skills they develop can be used elsewhere. Any career you have you will use these skills.”

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