4C Academy Celebrates New Practice Area for Robotics Competition

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Friday, February 7th, 2020

The Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy’s Commodores robotics team has a newly designed STEM gym ready for the FIRST Robotics 2020 challenge.

The academy held a ribbon-cutting recently with community partners.

“This event was an opportunity for our local robotics teams to thank those in our community who make robotics possible — our business sponsors, our coaches and our mentors,” said Chris Hatcher, CEO of the 4C Academy. “It was also a great opportunity for our teams to hear from industry leaders in our community about how robotics is being used right here in Albany at the (Marine Corps Logistics) Base, at Phoebe Putney (Memorial Hospital), and at Procter & Gamble. We were honored to have them as part of the program.”

Speakers included Farid Khan, plant manager for Procter & Gamble in Albany; Joe Austin, CEO of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital; Maj. Daniel Whitt, MCLB LOGCOM, and Connie Haynes, CEO of Georgia FIRST.

Guests at the event included robotics teams from other schools in the area that utilize the 4C Academy’s facilities to develop their own robots. In addition to thanking team coaches, local FIRST mentors were also recognized during the ceremony.

“Mentors add an incredible level of value to the robotics experience,” said Commodores team coach Darren Hagler. “Mentors provide expertise in areas like programming, design, fabrication and even marketing, and they volunteer their time, energy and knowledge to help our students build a solid foundation in STEM fields.”

Founded in 1989, FIRST is a not-for-profit designed to inspire young people’s interest in participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. Each year, robotics teams from across the globe compete for the opportunity to qualify for the FIRST championship game.

This year’s FIRST challenge theme, Infinite Recharge, was developed in partnership between FIRST and “Star Wars: A Force for Change” charity. In the game, robots must be able to perform various functions, including climbing a wall and throwing “power cells.”

During the month of March, there will be five Georgia FIRST qualifying events leading to the state championship April 1-4 at Mercer University. The Procter & Gamble Albany qualifier competition will be held March 26-28 at the Albany Civic Center.