HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2019) – More than 20 high school robotics teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia will converge on Henderson County on Saturday, Oct.12, to compete one last time with their robots from the 2019 season. The Thundering Herd of Robots West (THOR West) off-season event hosted by Henderson County Public Schools’ Robotics Team (Team 1225) at North Henderson High School will kick off at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public.
THOR West is a regional off-season competition for high school robotics teams organized under FIRST® North Carolina – the state-level support organization for national nonprofit FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) – which provides evidence-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment through grade-level robotics, modeling, and tech leagues and teams.
THOR has a long history as the North Carolina off-season tournament and has been held annually since 2013 rotating among the Charlotte Metro, Triad, and Triangle areas. With the of robotics teams growth in the southeast and the demand for slots for teams in these off-season events, THOR was split this year into THOR East and West.
Team 1225 (The Gorillas) is proud to bring this event to Henderson County, showcasing robotics and STEM education for the community and hopefully spark an interest in local elementary and middle school students to pursue robotics and eventually join their local high school FIRST® teams.
“Providing greater access to high-quality STEM education events in the mountain region of North Carolina is one of the missions of the team,” says team mentor and coach Mike Murphy, a design engineer with BorgWarner Turbo Systems.
Since the FIRST® organization strives to meet and incorporate each student’s individual interests in team events, Saturday’s THOR West tournament is student-organized. Students from three Western North Carolina teams collaborated to secure the venue; recruit and organize over 50 volunteers; locate and negotiate with vendors for EMS, security, transportation, equipment rental, and food; and advertise to fill the available tournament slots with teams. Regardless of whether these students ultimately pursue a STEM-based career, the skills learned during the six months it took to organize this event are valuable to their future success in academics and/or the workforce.
Henderson County high school students interested in joining the team can find more information at the event or at www.Team1225.com. Check out the Facebook event at this link.
About HCPS Team 1225
Team 1225 was founded in 2003 by Dr. Helen Owen and Tom Patten, a physics teacher at East Henderson High School. The team started with five members, meeting in the North Henderson High automotive shop. In 2009, Mike Murphy from BorgWarner Turbo Systems became the coach and the team grew to 30 members – and continues to grow each year. Currently, Team 1225 has members from all four HCPS traditional high schools and the Career Academy, and meets at the Boys and Girls Club of Hendersonville.