Jacqui Nickell
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On December 8, Lakehill Preparatory School's Robotics team made its debut at the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier at the Lowery Freshman Center in Allen, Texas. The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition that gives students real-world engineering experience. The Lakehill Bionicles (team #14904) and their robot, Thok, had a strong showing for their first outing--placing 19th among the 28 scheduled participants from across North Texas.
During the event, the Lakehill Bionicles competed in five matches, two of which their alliance won. In each match, the team was randomly paired with an alliance partner to compete against two other teams, completing tasks such as autonomous movement, latching on to a Mars lander, moving cubes and spheres representing gold and silver unobtanium to the lander and depot, and parking in a crater. 
The three-student driving team consisted of combinations of co-captain Luke Jerome, co-captain Jason Herron-Loza, Elijah McMillan, and Koby Watkins. Under the leadership of Jerome, students Sumner Born, Watkins, and McMillan worked to fine tune the robot between matches. Co-captain Hao Zhao and Sarah Smith worked on adjusting the code for the autonomous and driver portions of the match, as well as providing input to the build team. James Freeman kept track of scheduling and organization, making sure everything and everyone was where they needed to be. Ryan Douglas, Preston Bied, Michael Skellie, and Zhao were the team ambassadors, communicating with alliance partners before each match to strategize. The team is coached by Jennifer Herta and Mitch Musselman. 
The team would like to give special thanks to Lakehill parent and team Technical Advisor John Gormanfor taking so much time out of his schedule in the days before the meet to advise the team, and John Trout for making sure the team got to the meet and back safely on the bus.
The team is excited to have another chance at advancing to regionals at their second qualifier in Ferris, Texas, on Saturday, January 26. Learn more about FIRST robotics and the FIRST Tech Challenge here.

About Lakehill Preparatory School

At Lakehill Preparatory School, we know that bigger is not always better. Lakehill is -- and always has been -- small by design.

Our school combines a strong, engaging academic program with a kind and inclusive community. A small student body offers a greater opportunity for each student to experience academic and leadership growth. Students develop a strong sense of belonging, and pride in their community, their school, and themselves. 

Community spirit is encouraged in our small school environment. Strong relationships develop between home and school, and school leaders are far more involved with individual students than in a larger school setting. Lakehill staff pride themselves on knowing every child by name.

Lakehill builds an atmosphere of respect, accountability, collaboration, and mentoring between students and teachers, and provides the resources and learning opportunities that empower students to be architects of their own education.

Visit our website at for more information.

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