COLUMN: Anywhere I Hang My Hat by Patricia Golden


A week ago I was catching up with the adventures of Joy Scott. Every once in a while I like to hear about the inspiring things she is doing in her classes at the High School here in Van Horn. Mrs. Scott teaches four different, and very broad, subjects: welding, agriculture, energy and natural resources, and culinary arts. 

Joy received a grant from the Bezos Family Foundation that made it possible for her energy and natural resources students to have the opportunity to build a robot to participate in the 2014 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition that was held in Lubbock, Texas, earlier this month.
This international competition brought students from all over the United States including Hawaii, as well as China. This global program offers scholarships, internships, and resources. It also motivates young people in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Protobot #2613 was built and designed by the Energy and Natural Resources Class. Seven students, Carlos Guerrero, German Rodarte, Louie Larin, Miguil Velez, Cami Uranga, Starvanna Cottrell, and Briana Sanchez, attended the Lubbock competition.
The robot was built to play defense in a modified version of basket ball using a 24-inch exercise ball. This task was a hands-on, problem solving sport for the mind, and good hard fun. 

According to Joy, the match was like a futuristic robotic rodeo.
Technical support and oversight for computer programming and brains of the robot was provided by David Robb of Blue Origin. Paraprofessional, Adrian Norman, who was a valued trip sponsor and roadie, and he told me it was a lot of fun.

The competition consisted of 42 teams with 2,613 students competing in 12 qualification matches with four final round matches. Mrs. Scott’s students ranked 16 out of 42. That’s good, but what’s even cooler, the top eight teams were able to pick two teams for finals and our Van Horn team was selected for a final round. The students were very proud of themselves and we are extremely proud of them.

Protobot #2613 will be on display for public view at the Clark Hotel Museum now through the month of April, so make a point to go by and see it.

For more information regarding FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) and a game animation video, go to


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