Mann Robotics was first started in the 2014-2015 season (Skyrise), with only a single team of a few students. Since then, we have grown enormously in both membership and success. Ever since Starstruck (2016-2017) we’ve had 100% qualification to the State Tournament, even sending 3796C, our all-girls team to the 2018 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, KY, where they recieved the Innovate Award.
Skyrise was the founding year for Mann Robotics, which then only had the team that would become 3796A competing under a different number. That team went to only one competition that year, and did not score highly there. Because they did not qualify for the state tournament, their season ended early.
Nothing But Net (2015-2016)
With the new season came a new team: Some Assembly Required (3796B). Composed of only four people: Tyler Mulea, Francis Villanueva, and Patrick & Brendan McGuire, this team worked hard, and at our very first self-hosted competition, they were awarded the title of Skills Champions, qualifying them for state, the first J.L. Mann team to do so. This was quite the honor and learning experience, and placed a bit of pressure on the team to perform well. 3796B scrambled to get ready for the tournament only a few weeks away.
On March 12, 2016, 3796B competed at the South Carolina VRC State Tournament held at River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina. While they weren’t extremely competitive at the tournament, it was a great learning experience and meaningful for the organization as a whole. 3796B went 3-3-0, and did not make elimination rounds.
We got another new team in Starstruck, 3796C Don’t Forget to Breathe (then called Flower Power) our all-girls team. For the other teams, Starstruck was a year of change. At our first competition, the Viking Gauntlet Challenge, our teams underperformed, which led many to reconsider their designs. However, by the end of qualification season, all 3 teams had qualified through skills placements thanks to a skills only tournament at Oakbrook Preporatory School. At the state competion, no team qualified or placed well, but the fact that all of our teams made it to the state level was good enough.
Graduates: Patrick McGuire, Kenzie Abed, Jordan Hule
In The Zone (2017-2018)
In the Zone did not add any new teams for the first time, however, it proved to be a year of many other firsts. At the J.L. Mann Upstate VEX Qualifier, 3796C won the Design Award, marking the first time a Mann team qualified to state-level competition not solely based on robot performance. Later that year, at the Clover MS & HS State Qualifier, all three teams qualified to state without skills, with team A winning the Design Award, team B being a part of the 3 team Tournament Champions Alliance, and team C being awarded with the Excellence Award, the highest award at any VEX competition. At the Palmetto State High School VEX Robotics Competition Championship, 3796C added on to their list of successes, being the first Mann team to win an award at the state level and to move on past that level. They went even further, winning the Innovate Award for the Math division at VEX Worlds 2018, the first Mann team to win an award at that level and the only SC team to win an award at that level that year.
Graduates: Ben Godfrey, Francis Villeaneuva
Turning Point (2018-2019)
Although Turning Point has not yet concluded, there has been a lot happening in Mann Robotics this year. We have added a fourth team, 3796E, composed entirely of new members of Mann Robotics. Additionally, at their first competition, 3796E proved themselves by winning Tournament Champions, with teams 3796C and B winning the Design and Judges Awards, respectively. The future looks bright for Turning Point for Mann Robotics, and we’re excited to see what happens next.
Seniors: Garrett Knight, Aiden Abed