FAIRMONT, W.Va. – History was being made at Fairmont State University on May 16 during its first WVSSAC Robotics State Championship.

A total of 23 high schools across the state joined each other in over 46 qualification matches to win this state-wide championship.

Two teams compete against one another (Courtesy: Fairmont State University)

When discussing their journey as a team within robotics competitions, North Marion’s Michael Tarley and Dustin Hayes mentioned how their team got started.

“Well three years ago, it was just an idea in a classroom. We really brought a whole team together,” said Hayes.

Tarley said, “NASA donated a kit, so we decided to have a robotics team, and now we’re here. It’s all just kind of snowballed, and we are really excited to be here.”

Families, coaches and participants gathered in the Feaster Center where there were two sections set up for matches throughout the day. Congresswoman Carol Miller and Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin were also in attendance.

NASA Deputy Administrator, Pam Melroy, explained the impact events like this have on future jobs in West Virginia.

“The work that we do, over 700 jobs in West Virginia, and over $137,000,000 of economic impact, just for the state of West Virginia,” Melroy said. “So, this is the future, they’re investing in the future, and I am hoping to see some of these students, not just go to the space station, but go to the moon.”

Drew Morgan speaking in front of the participants (WBOY Image)

NASA Astronaut, Drew Morgan, also spoke in front of participants and families on the importance of this championship then opened the floor for questions. The microphone was passed around for anyone who wanted to ask him a question.

Temporary Assistant Coach of Ravenswood Highschool, Chase Jarrell, expressed how he felt about the championship that was held.

Jarrell said, “To see here, where they’re trying to work on those skills and get these kids involved, especially in a state like West Virginia, which historically, has not been, you know, top of the science pursuit, things like that. It’s just incredible. It’s a great thing they have going on right here.”

Parkersburg High School with their First Place trophy (Courtesy: Fairmont State University)

On behalf of the WBOY staff, we want to send a big congratulations to Parkersburg High School for winning 1st Place. Meanwhile, 2nd and 3rd place were taken by Wheeling Park High School and Brooke High School respectively.

Judged awards were also given out to multiple teams, in which they were:

  • The Robot Skills Award – Wood County Christian School
  • The Create Award – Pocahontas County High School
  • The Programming Award – Riverside High School
  • The Build Award – Brooke High School
  • The Engineering Design Award – Wood County Christian School