G-4s 4-H Robotics are up for a challenge

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Trevor Plaisted (left) and Andrew Houghton attach a part to their robot. Photos by Katy Waterman

This year’s competition has the G-4s reaching new heights! The 2023-24 game from VEX Robotics and the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation is descriptively named Over Under. Teams must move oddly shaped objects over dividers and under bars to score points while defending their own goal. In the last seconds of the game, robots fight for extra points by gripping support bars and lifting themselves into the air.

Robots aren’t the only things on the way up. The G-4s have added five new members and one more team. They will need all that combined brain power to tackle designing, building, programming and driving a robot that can meet this year’s challenge. VEX programs are student-led, so while adult mentors are there to guide, the students take ultimate responsibility for engineering decisions, project management and team goals.

The G-4s are stepping up in partnership with Central Connecticut State University to host a Regional Qualifier competition for 60 teams across New England. Cheer for the G-4s on Saturday, Jan. 6 at CCSU or by watching a live webcast on the CTEEA YouTube channel. For full information and event agenda, search “CCSU-G4 Over Under Qualifier” on RobotEvents.com

The middle school team’s motto is, “Team work makes the dream work!” and Granby citizens keep the G-4s’ dreams up and running. The community donates thousands of bottles and cans at monthly drives that the teams redeem to fund their program.

As 4-H members, the G-4s value giving back to the community that supports them. During the next can drive they will also collect clean, second-hand towels and blankets for local animal shelters. Please check your linen closet, gather your bottles and cans, and visit the G-4s on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Granby Congregational Church, UCC South Campus!

Ben Waterman works at the October bottle and can drive.