The Pine Bluff High School Historic Robotics Team #7878 recently competed in the 2019 Arkansas Rock City First Robotics Regional Competition at Barton Coliseum at Little Rock.


The team included seniors Tavion Collins (surge), Gia Edgerson (binary), Jarod King (turbo), Allen Smith (virus), and junior Keturah Roberts (hacker).


More than 60 high schools brought thousands of students, teachers, mentors, sponsors and family members to the robotics competition. There were also teams from Brazil, Mexico and Germany.


Roberts served as the coder for the Zebras’ Robot.


“It was exciting to be a part of Pine Bluff High School’s first robotics team,” Roberts said. “It took lots of long hours and hard work, which included weekends. Being the only junior on the team, I am excited about next year’s team.”


Smith applauded the administrators who also attended.


“It was great seeing my Superintendent, Dr. (Jeremy) Owoh and Principal Dr. (Michael) Nellums, actually come to the competition to cheer us on. That made us proud,” Smith said.


King is an aspiring future engineer who found the experience exciting and rewarding, he said.


“The PBHS Robotics team appreciates Superintendent Jeremy Owoh for presenting the idea of a robotics team and for Mattie Collins, retired teacher, president of the Ivy Center for Education and a community volunteer, for putting the team together and spending many hours with the dedicated students,” a spokesman said in the release.


The robot was built in the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s Construction lab under the direction of Charles Colen, chairman of Industrial Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, and O.C. Duffy, also of the department.


“Dr. Karl Walker worked with the robot coders untiringly at the competition until the robot worked properly,” according to the release.


Retired teachers Patricia Berry and Virginia Hymes volunteered their time to help the team prepare for competition and visited the team during competition.


“The historic PBHS Robotics team is grateful for the awesome mentorship of Tops Tech Robotics guided by Laura Hildreth, Tylor Johnson, Taylor Johnson and Jordan Alfred,” Collins said. “We also appreciate Shante Calhoun, teacher at Pine Bluff High, for assisting in the coordination of the logistical part of the experience, making orders and for transporting the students to the competition. It takes all of us working together to ensure the success of our students. They are GREAT!”