Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Opelika High School robotics team is preparing to “bet the farm” at this year’s BEST Robotics Competition Oct. 8 at Auburn University. A team of approximately 20 students have been working each day after school on their robot and a marketing plan for the competition.
“We learned a lot last year and are really working to be competitive this year,” stated Caleb Thompson, CEO of the Opelika Robotics and Engineering Organization (OREO.)  “We want to avoid the simple mistakes and ensure that our robot will complete the assigned task.”  In keeping with the “Bet the Farm” theme of this year’s competition, the robot’s task is farming related. The robot will move certain items resembling corn, seeds and produce to their assigned containers within the three-minute time frame. The team tested the robot Sept. 25 at Mall Day and will make necessary adjustments before the competition Oct. 8
In addition to building a functioning robot, the OHS team is working on a marketing plan and presentation. The marketing team is headed up by senior Maddy Meadows.  “We have been brainstorming about the theme and have decided that our booth will be designed like a farmer’s market. We have also been working on a brochure, website, and selecting promotional materials to be given away at the competition.”
The booth has to be assembled on site and two people must be in the booth at all times. Otherwise, members of the robotics team are driving the robot during the competition or cheering on their teammates. “We are not only judged on our technical skill and marketing presentation, but we are also judged on team spirit,” Meadows said. “I’m looking forward to working with the entire team at the competition.”
OHS Robotics Team members include: Caleb Thompson-CEO, Savanna Johnson-Technical Director, Maddy Meadows- Marketing Director, Marketing Team members-Olivia Morgan, Kayla Smith, Trey Ray, Audrey Gibbs, Ama Stephens,  Trysten Randall, and Nicole Gilliam.  Technical Team members include: Nathanael Folds , Joshua Thomas, J Rodgers, Rishi Yadav, Cheyenne Hoffpauir, Collen Anderson,  Keirra Farrow and Dylan Clark.  The robotics team sponsors are Mandi Edwards, Brenda Howell and Dean Works.