Hub City to host competitive high school robotics tournament

Sep 18th, 2023

The Toyota Boshoku America Hub City Robo Rumble is set for its inaugural debut on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Jackson State Community College (JSCC). This free and open to the public event will take place from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. with the competition portion of the event taking place from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The VEX Robotics sanctioned event with Toyota Boshoku America as the title sponsor will be the first of its kind for the Hub City, with 32-teams traveling from across the state and region to compete in the skills-based robotics tournament.

Teams will compete in a series of challenges, pushing their student-designed robots to their coding and mechanical limits. Throughout the tournament, teams will play the VEX Robotics Over Under game on a 12x12 field. This game will test their ability to work together as an engineering team, overcoming design, programming, and building obstacles all while trying to develop a winning game strategy. Each team is also assessed on the quality and durability of their construction, ingenuity, and more, allowing teams to also earn awards in categories outside of the overall winner. The winners of this tournament will advance to the Tennessee State Championship held in Nashville in March 2024.

“This event is a big win for our STEM-focused youth,” said KaBao McCarver, event organizer with Jackson Area Robotics. “We have a lot of sports opportunities for kids in West Tennessee, but our students who are really interested in the STEM field don’t always have an outlet to enjoy what they love. This event shows kids that there are exciting things that can be done in STEM, and those things can take you places you never imagined while meeting incredible people along the way.”

Jackson Area Robotics (JAR) is a local Robotics Club comprised of high school students from across West Tennessee. The organization was formed in 2011 and has since gone on to compete on the International Stage, competing against countries from around the world. JAR has won various awards while competing internationally, and even ranked 1st in Skills out the 11,500+ teams that competed last season. The Hub City Robo Rumble will be the organization’s first local event, and the first-ever event to feature full-metal robotics in Madison County.

“Last year, we hosted the Arlington Winter Classic Tournament, which was the first of its kind for West Tennessee and the school system,” said Molly Plyler, District STEM & Computer Science Director at Jackson-Madison County Schools. “Since then, we’ve been working with JAR to find a home for a larger event, and to see this dream come true through our partnership with Jackson State is beyond exciting. This event will allow JMCSS teams to compete with teams from all over, exposing them to ingenuity and creativity on various levels.”

Sponsors for this year’s event include Toyota Boshoku America, Sonoco Products Company, JSCC Advanced Maintenance Technician Co-op, Jackson-Madison County School System, The Greater Jackson Chamber, Leaders Credit Union, BlueScope Buildings North America, Marco’s Pizza, and Tennessee Valley Robotics.


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