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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

To the BoBots, Sean Roelofs, Chris Bain­bridge, Nathan Daciuk and Katie Koerner, who, along with their al­liance part­ners, were re­cently crowned the 2016 world cham­pi­ons at the In­ter­na­tional FIRST Ro­bot­ics Competition in St. Louis. All four Bo Manor High stu­dents from Ear­leville mas­tered the competition that re­quires teams to build and pro­gram a robot that meets 80 pages of spec­i­fi­ca­tions and can ma­neu­ver through a timed set of com­plex chal­lenges, such as hit­ting small levers, putting ob­jects in cer­tain buck­ets and per­form­ing a full pull-up. Al­though they all at­tend school to­gether, the team is in­de­pen­dent of the school and funds it­self with pri­vate do­na­tions. The team­mates spent hours prac­tic­ing ma­neu­vers with their robot and fine-tun­ing its me­chan­ics ahead of im­por­tant com­pe­ti­tions. What’s truly im­pres­sive is how these teens de­vised their robot for the tasks, learned how to op­er­ate it and all de­vel­oped roles on the team to en­sure their suc­cess. Now they’re al­ready look­ing ahead to de­fend­ing their ti­tle in next year’s tour­na­ment. The BoBots are clearly among the bright­est of Ce­cil County’s fu­ture; con­grat­u­la­tions to their suc­cess.

To the ef­forts of North East res­i­dents Mark Dob­bins and Jim Wol­ford, who in­stalled a bio-re­ten­tion is­land out­side North East town hall to help re­duce stormwa­ter runoff and flood­ing in the park­ing lot. Work on the 1,200-square-foot is­land started with town work­ers ex­ca­vat­ing an ex­ist­ing grassy is­land in the park­ing lot to cre­ate a roughly 3-foot deep hole. The bot­tom was then filled with a per­fo­rated PVC pipe and rocks fol­lowed by lay­ers of pea gravel and soil. The is­land was com­pleted on Satur­day with help from the Ce­cil County Mas­ter Gar­den­ers, who planted na­tive plants to give ad­di­tional help with fil­tra­tion. The pro­ject sat­is­fied re­quire­ments for the Wa­ter­shed Stew­ards Academy, a pro­gram that works to ed­u­cate and em­power county res­i­dents to im­prove the wa­ter qual­ity of lo­cal streams and re­duce the harm­ful ef­fects of pol­luted stormwa­ter runoff, but the duo took their work a step far­ther. As part of that ed­u­ca­tion ef­fort, a sign will even­tu­ally be in­stalled in front of the bio-re­ten­tion is­land ex­plain­ing how the pro­ject works and how peo­ple can do sim­i­lar, smaller-scale projects on their own prop­er­ties. “We can’t solve big prob­lems like the sed­i­ment buildup be­hind the Conowingo Dam, but we can all work on smaller projects that still make a dif­fer­ence,” Dob­bins said. Ku­dos to them, and hope­fully more fol­low their lead.

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