It’s undeniable. The technology sector in Augusta is the booming. If you are into nuclear, Augusta can boast about Plant Vogtle being the first new nuclear plant in the U.S. in 30 years. If the military-industrial complex is more your cup of tea, there’s the super-sized and super-secret NSA facility coming online at the fort.
Do you like ObamaCare? Well, our medical community is spending millions to transform our health IT infrastructure to comply with new mandates and stay competitive in the new world order. And may I be one of the first to welcome the newest member of Augusta’s technology community, Intermedix, who earlier this month announced the acquisition of our own ESi. (We all hope the IronMan sponsorship was part of the deal.)
Consider, though, that all this might be just a prelude to the true renaissance of Augusta’s industrial sector. Suppose we are just building the foundation for others? Who might these future visionaries be?
For starters, I would point to the 4H Club Bodacious Builders out of Columbia County. The Bodacious Builders are a group of sixth and seventh graders who came together from five different middle schools: Grovetown, Riverside, Stallings Island, Harlem and Columbia. This Saturday, they will be competing in the state championship of the Georgia First LEGO League.
The First LEGO League is a robotics program that utilizes science and technology to bring together middle-school-aged kids and challenge them creatively solve problems based on real-world issues. The competition is made up of three components:
1. Build an autonomous robot using engineering concepts.
2. Research and solve a real-world problem based on a challenge theme.
3. Present their research and solutions.
I met with this group last week down at the theClubhou.se as they were working with the uber-mentor Chris Williamson of CSRA Makers. (As many of you know, Chris is a hardened veteran of robotics competitions and robot wars. His SpacePRIDE team was the only team to meet all requirements in last year’s NASA Centennial Challenge Sample Return Rover competition.)
To address the First LEGO challenge theme, the Bodacious Builders attacked old age and devised a system to dispense medication for senior citizens. While they successfully navigated the regional and super-regional competitions, the presentation still needed something to make it really pop. Synergy was in the air as the Bodacious Builders utilized CSRA Maker’s 3D printer to create a model of their invention. Will it be enough to push these aspiring innovators up the leaderboard?
In the long run, it really doesn’t matter. This team has already demonstrated creativity, teamwork and a desire to win. Stick with that and great things will continue to happen. Best of luck this weekend!
Attention to all you other robot innovators: TheClubhou.se is sponsoring a SumoBot League with the first competition in April. For the uninitiated, this sport involves two robots attempting to push each other out of a circle. If you are interested, there is also a four-week Mini Sumo class at theClubhou.se starting in February. Space is limited.
Finally, I promised Chris I’d give a shout out to this year’s SpacePRIDE team. They are starting to gear up for this year’s competition. He is sill looking for a team sponsor, and I think the hood space on the robot is still available. So don’t delay in getting in touch with him!
Until next time, I’m off the grid @gregory_a_baker. You Might Also Like: