Members of the Jackson County 4-H clubs’ high school robotics team have taken their technology to a new level by using the sun’s energy to power their robots against other machines in competitions around the state. The team’s robots draw power from batteries charged by a mobile solar generator provided by Green Power EMC. The team rebranded itself from the “Chargers” to the “Solar Chargers” to reflect their solar focus.
Green Power, a renewable energy cooperative owned by Georgia’s EMCs, assisted the club as it has participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition, held at the district and state levels. Additionally, the Jackson EMC Foundation, established by Green Power EMC member Jackson EMC, awarded the team a $6,000 grant in January to assist them in the competition. FIRST is designed to encourage students in math, science and related fields by combining the excitement of competition with the rigors of science and technology.
At the state competition recently in Athens, the team received the “Excellence in Engineering Award” for their innovative lift mechanism, one of the most critical tools that robots use to compete successfully. The competitive robots score points by breaching opponents’ defenses and putting boulders through goals in the opposing tower.