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Robot's to the Rescue

Using a remote control, Garrett Tru moved the robot in place to rescue Phil from a burning building.

Tru, a junior at Pilot Point High School, and his teammates successfully removed Phil. Tru is a member of the school’s robotics club., led by physics teacher Jim Kreamer.

The club is in its first year and will compete in the Crossfire competition at Prosper High School Saturday.

Kreamer, who’s spent 23 years in the oil industry as a research physicist and four years as an instructor at Aubrey High School, thought about retiring after teaching in Prosper ISD last year.

“I would’ve definitely retired if it were any school other than this one,” Kreamer said. “I’ve got roots here. I’ve got three kids that graduated from Pilot Point High School and my son (James) currently coaches here.”

Kreamer said the main purpose of the robotics club is to “give kids that are really into science a real world experience with engineering technology, project management and application of science principles.”

“These kids are under a six-week schedule so they have to learn project management skills with a real-life project that comes with a hard deadline,” Kreamer said. “They have a specific task to accomplish, so they have to stick within certain guidelines to achieve their goals. As their coach, I really focus on making sure they understand the basics since it’s their first year.”

Kreamer has been very impressed with how the team has progressed over the summer. “They’ve developed a really good robot, I’ve got to hand it to them,” Kreamer said. “Garrett (Tru) and Hunter (Kulesz) have really set themselves apart. They eye the task and want to get it done. They both have a high interest for this. Hunter and Garrett are my two best students.” At the competition Saturday, the club will use their robot to perform three tasks: human rescue, hazardous removal and fire suppression. Unique Woodworks, a Pilot Point based cabinet shop, built the practice course for the club to use to prepare for the competition.

“When I was at Aubrey we never had a practice course,” Kreamer said. “The teams that have a practice course definitely fare better, so I think the kids will definitely have an advantage.”

The team will also construct a booth that will be assessed by a team of judges as well as a T-shirt. Awards will be handed out for the best looking robot, the most durable robot and the best marketing booth.

Teams will check in their robots on Friday from 5:30-9 p.m. Sacred Heart High School won first place in last year’s competition, Caddo Mills placed second and the Texoma Home Educators finished third. Farmersville High School won best T-shirt and Kingdom Country Academy won best web design.

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