Ozark Rōˈbädiks Compete in Qualifying Tournament

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The name “Rōˈbädiks” comes from the spelling of the proper pronunciation of the word “Robotics” in the dictionary.

On January 26, the Ozark robotics team competed in a qualifying tournament at Drury University against 32 other teams and placed 23rd. The Ozark Rōˈbädiks was filled with a wide variety of members, each with their own jobs and tasks that contributed to the goals of the program, and were led by Mrs. Suiter.

For the first four rounds, the team was in the top 11, but in the final round the robot had some unknown malfunctions. “It was still moving, but it got caught up. Because it couldn’t go down on its own, we missed a whole bunch of points,” said Mrs. Suiter. They ended up placing 23rd out of 33. According to Mrs. Suiter, if the robot hadn’t malfunctioned, it is likely the team would have been chosen as an ally for one of the top teams.

The team had 16 members, a combination of boys and girls that range from 8th graders to juniors. Mrs. Suiter, the coach of the team said, “I am considered a facilitator for them; my job as a coach is to provide materials for them.” The team spent their practices building both the robot and the team’s self-reliance.

At one point, the whole team went bowling to build relationships within the members of the group and use that bond to create teamwork. “I had a lot of fun this year on the team, our team has sort of a bond that enables us to have fun and work at the same time,” said Griffin Shaw, a builder and photographer for the team’s media.

The team pays for its robot parts with money collected by fundraisers, which they do throughout the year at various events. The parts are expensive and require a lot of dedication and volunteering from the members, and most members participate as much as they can. The Ozark Robotics team is always open to skilled, dedicated new members and those interested can try out for the team next school year.