The Fort Payne High School Robotics Team addressed the city council Tuesday to ask for a $1,000 appropriation for this year’s BEST Robotics competition. The acronym, which stands for Boosting Engineering Science and Technology, challenges students to discover solutions for daily challenges through engineering.
Sam Jones, who is the head of the FPHS Robotics engineering, told the council that the engineering team is responsible for writing an engineering notebook that details the robot, its functions and design.
Jones said the FPHS Robotics team builds a robot, programs it, and drives it on a course with three other competitors during the BEST Robotics competition. He said in order to build a robot that will be successful on the competition field, they would need to raise funds to cover the cost of parts.
“The robot is built out of two different kits,” Jones said. “One is a returnable kit that we return to the BEST Robotics organization when the season is over. The other kit is a consumable kit. It is made out of a bunch of material that we can modify into parts for our robot. Any funds that we receive, will go to help replace materials that need to be replaced because of prototyping.”
Jones said funds will also go toward building a practice course. He said the practice course allows the team to test their prototype and it also allows the person driving the robot to practice on a competition-scale course.
Council President Brian Baine said he was in favor of supporting the program.
“We appreciate you coming down and we appreciate what you do,” he said. “I think the robotics team is amazing, and I fully support whatever we are allowed to support.”
Councilman Gerald “Red” Taylor said this would be the second year the council has supported the FPHS Robotics team.
“We supported them last year and I make a motion that we support them again this year,” he said.
The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Lynn Brewer and the appropriation of the $1,000 for the Fort Payne BEST Robotics team was passed.
The council also:
• agreed to pay half the cost of the new and refurbished tennis courts at the Fort Payne High School property.
• approved the placement of a streetlight at the intersection of Marlo and Marin Avenue per recommendation by Johnny Evans, of Fort Payne Improvement Authority.
• approved an activity permit for the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce Halloween Block Party at Gault Avenue from 1st Street to 5th Street N on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• approved an activity permit for the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Parade on Dec. 9 at Gault Ave. from 18th Street N to 3rd Street S from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• approved an activity permit for a benefit at the Rotary Pavilion Oct. 19
Fort Payne Fire Chief Ron Saferite announced a service that is being provided by the FPFD.
“I just want to remind everyone that October is Turn your Attention to Fire Prevention Month,” he said. “Check your smoke detectors. Anybody that needs them, we still have that program going on where we come out and install smoke detectors for individuals who need them.”
Saferite also announced the breast cancer awareness T-shirts that the FPFD promotes each year are now being sold at Fort Payne Fire Station No. 2 for $15.