WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

CHS Science Club Reaches Semifinals in NASA, MIT Robotic Tournament

Nov. 20, 2013

The Charlottesville High School science group, Best All-around Club of Nerds (BACON), is competing in the Zero Robotics semifinals.

Sponsored by NASA and MIT, the Zero Robotics High School Tournament is one of the most challenging computer-programming competitions available to high schoolers.

By reaching the semifinals in this year's competition, BACON is currently ranked among the top twenty teams. In 2012, the CHS team placed second in the nation.

The Zero Robotics competition requires teams to write computer code to autonomously control a virtual robot in 3D space. The robot must perform a series of complicated tasks while also responding to the movements of a competitor robot. This year, the robot must navigate 3D space, detect and avoid debris, capture a laser pack, and use the laser as well as gravitational attraction to steer a comet through space.

CHS science teacher and team sponsor Matthew Shields notes, “Just developing a strategy for this competition, much less the computer code, kind of makes your brain hurt.”

For the semifinal phase, the remaining teams form alliances for virtual collaboration; BACON has joined forces with the Rock'n'Robots from Janesville, WI, and the C Students from Claremont, CA. When the semifinals conclude in December, in January, the best alliances will travel to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to see their code actually control a robot live on the International Space Station.

Since its establishment in 2010, BACON has traveled around the country to represent the community in the finals of several competitions sponsored by MIT and/or NASA.

The team was honored by the Charlottesville City Council in March 2011.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 232668291