Team SCREAM was honored for its creative engineering and its leader, Michael Wright, was praised by his peers Saturday at the inaugural Missouri Robotics State Championship at the Mathewson Exhibition Center.

Smith-Cotton Robotics, Engineering and Mathematics, host of the event, received the Innovation in Design award from event sponsor Maxion Wheels. Tom Crosier, human resources manager for Maxion Wheels’ Sedalia plant, said Team SCREAM’s “strapping” feature, which holds cylindrical containers in place on top of a stack of recycling totes, and the robot’s ability to move laterally were key features that caught the eyes of Maxion regional directors and engineers.

The strap was unique to the event and the all-purpose ability of the robot – it didn’t just stack or put the cylinder on top,” he said. “Their robot was designed well … It was multidimensional.”
Wright was selected as the Coach/Mentor of the Year, an award voted on by his fellow coaches.

I’m very surprised, very honored,” Wright said of his award. “I have become really good friends with a lot of these guys, and learned a lot from them. I owe a lot to them for what they taught me and helped me in building our program.”

Team SCREAM Coach Michael Wright (Courtesy of Sedalia School District)

The inaugural state title was won by the alliance of Team Driven, from Lee’s Summit High School; Team Titanium, from Lee’s Summit West High; and Optimus PRIN, from the Principia School in St. Louis.

Wright, his students and Team SCREAM volunteers worked for months to organize the event. Emcee Mike Brouwer, who also works the Kansas City Regional and other FIRST Robotics events, said: “I appreciate the city of Sedalia and Smith-Cotton High School for putting this on, because this is a huge amount of work. I can’t imagine how many hours went into it and they did a great job.”

(Courtesy of Sedalia School District)