Team Chaos gearing up for World Championship Competition in Houston

A group of Picayune, Pearl River Central, and home school high school students is bound for Houston, Texas on Wednesday to compete in the World Championship Robotics Competition.

The Pearl River County Robotics Team, affectionately known as Team Chaos, earned a spot at the competition after placing high in the Huntsville regional and winning 1st place at the Bayou regional.

The team now prepares to go head to head with some of the most accomplished high school robotics teams in the world. Countries like China, Israel, Turkey, Australia, as well as teams from all across the nation will be represented.

The competition began on kickoff day in January when each team received a small collection of parts used to build the robot and a description of this year’s “robot games” that will be played to determine the winner. The games function more like tasks that the robot must be able to perform. One task might be picking something up; another task might be moving a block of cargo safely from one location to another.

The team has only 6 weeks to take the base parts provided and anything else they can get their hands on to build the robot. Then it’s time to prep the one who’ll be driving the robot and begin scouting the competition. The rounds are played in head to head matches between two teams of three, each team battling against the other to score more points and make it to the next round. With 6 playing fields going at any given time, the 408 teams are narrowed down very quickly.

The success on the robotics field hasn’t been the only positive aspect of being a part of Team Chaos.

“These kids learn media, presentations, marketing, and gracious professionalism,” said Karen Balch, one of the parents of a participant. “It’s about so much more than building a robot.”

Photos courtesy of Team Chaos

Kolby Balch, Karen’s son, touted the experience he’s gained from being part of the team.

“I’ve developed problem solving skills, learned programming, how to work with a team, and my experience even helped me to land an internship at Stennis,” said Balch.

All in all, we’re proud to have Pearl River County represented in the prestigious competition. If you’d like to watch Team Chaos in action, you can access the competition live-stream by visiting thebluealliance.com and clicking on “Turing Division”.

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