Pinckney Students Take the Lead at State Robotics Competition
Students from the Pinckney High School Robotics Program competed at the SkillsUSA State Competition in April and swept the Robotics and Automation Contest, with teams placing first, second and third.
Taking first place were Sarah Tolfree and Jacob Wallace. Second place went to Brett Schnabelrauch and Alexander Slepak. Matthew Majewski and Dominic Wells placed third.
During the competition, students in teams of two were given a task for their robots to perform. They were given relays and a multitude of different sensors they would need to wire correctly in order for the robot to complete the task. This year, students were also required to sort through five different blocks and determine which parts were scrap and which parts were good.
The goal of the competition was to emulate an industrial problem. Once the students were given the task, they were asked to plan out the process, draw schematics, program the robot, and wire everything. Each team was judged on efficiency, the length of time it took their program to run, how clean the wiring was, the level of programming and all of the schematics and flowcharts involved. After students finished the hands-on portion of the competition, they were required to take a test on robotics.
In addition to sweeping the Robotics and Automation Contest, Pinckney students placed third in the Mechatronics Contest. Elliott Lyons and Jacob Lewinski, the team of two that competed in this category, had to perform three different tasks.
The first task was to program a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) to perform a certain function based on the inputs and outputs that were already wired. The second task involved a specific problem for which students were required to develop a pneumatic schematic and then plumb cylinders and valves so that when a button was pressed, a function was completed.
The third task, which was the most difficult, required students to troubleshoot a work cell they had never seen before. The problem for which they were evaluating the work cell could have been electrical, pneumatic, or a mechanical failure. Once students completed the hands-on portion, they took a written test on Mechatronics.
The success students achieved at the state SkillsUSA competition means some of them will go on to represent Michigan at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, KY in June.
PCHS STUDENT GOVERNMENT WINS BIG AT STATES
Congratulations to PCHS Student Government students who recently attended the Student Government State Conference in Traverse City, where they won several awards. Our students brought home the Award of Excellence, the Star School Award and the Exceptional Service Project Award for hosting a Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner. In addition, Olivia Harvey received the Unsung Hero Award.
PCHS COMPETE AT SKILLS USA
Recently, several PCHS auto tech students competed at the Skills USA competition in three categories. Students were given the opportunity to showcase their skills in the areas of brakes, electrical, and new car prep. Nick Jean (11th gr.) won 1st place in Electrical and earned a year of free tuition and books at Washtenaw Community College and has also earned the opportunity to compete at the state competition. Hunter Parrish (12th gr.) earned 2nd place and also will be competing at the state level.
Joe Curts (11th gr.) earned a second place for brakes and Senior, Derek Laughlin scored a top three on the written portion of the electrical competition.
Kudos to all four of these young men and we wish both Nick and Hunter the best as they compete at the state competition in the spring. (Students in photo from left to right: Joe Curts, Nick Jean, Hunter Parrish, Derek Laughlin)
PCS BANDS, CHOIR & ORCHESTRAS SCORE BIG!
PATHFINDER 8TH GRADE SYMPHONIC BAND
Congratulations to the Pathfinder 8th Grade Symphonic Band for earning a 1st division rating at this past weekend's M.S.B.O.A. Festival in Lake Orion Michigan. Their hard work, talent and dedication on a day to day basis combined to make it a truly superior performance. This performance rating makes the Pathfinder 8th grade band the highest rated middle school band in the county three out of the last four years. Congratulations and keep up the hard work!
PATHFINDER & PCHS ORCHESTRAS
The Pathfinder and PCHS Orchestras scored back to back wins this week at the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association District Band & Orchestra Festivals held at Groves HS in Birmingham and Kettering HS in Waterford. On Wednesday March 9 the Pathfinder Orchestra appeared before a panel of 4 adjudicators who evaluated and critiqued the ensemble in their performance of Class “A” level music. The judges really liked their performance abilities as they scored Division 1 ratings from each including 17 out of a possible 20 A ratings. The PCHS Orchestra took their “A” level show on the road to Birmingham where they performed before a different and even more scrutinizing panel of string orchestra experts. They imitated the results of their younger colleagues but did go one better by scoring 18 out of 20 A ratings. This is the first time for both orchestras to win Division 1 ratings in the same year. The PCHS orchestra has earned Division 1 ratings for six consecutive years. Both are now on to the MSBOA State festival held in late April.
PCHS BANDS & CHOIR
The Pinckney Community High School Bands performed at MSBOA District Band & Orchestra Festival on Friday, March 4, 2016 at Lake Orion High School. The students in both ensembles gave a beautiful performance on stage and showed great musical aptitude in the sight reading portion. Both the Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble earned a Division I in sight reading and a Division II overall. A Division II represents a good performance that shows much accomplishment and promise. The Symphony Band has improved their scores in
both the performance and sight reading portions of festival this year while the Wind Ensemble continues to maintain their successful ratings.
The Pinckney Community High School Varsity Choir performed at MSVMA District Choral Festival on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at Hartland High School.
The clinician was impressed with the energy and clarity with which the students performed their pieces on stage. The students persevered through the sight reading process and earned an overall score of 94 out of 112 points. This is the highest score the Varsity Choir has achieved at District Festival in the past three years of attending.
PINCKNEY SNOWBOARDER WINS YOUTH OLYMPIC GOLD
Seventeen-year-old Jake Vedder stood atop a podium almost 4,000 miles away from his hometown of Pinckney in Halfjell, Norway. He was in the middle experiencing what just might be the best moment of his life thus far.
As he stood tall, waving to the crowd of spectators who had just watched him compete in and win all five of his men’s snowboard cross heats, the semifinal and then the final, around his neck hung something very few in the world get to don: An Olympic gold medal.
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The Pinckney Varsity Pom Team attended the Michigan State Showdown Dance Competition on Saturday, December 12th at Brighton High School. They won overall first place in the pom and hip hop dances! They competed against some very talented teams that include Brighton HS! This is the first time in almost 7 years that they have beaten Brighton, so the girls were pretty excited!
In addition to winning first in all the group dances they competed in, they took home some amazing honors in the small group categories as well:
The overall solo champion was Pinckney Senior
Third place - Marissa Moore, Senior
4th Place - Kathryn McGinty, Senior
5th Place - Ashleigh Discher, Junior
6th Place - Jenna Ellis, Junior
Duets and Trios
2nd Place - Hayley Conry and Felicity Couch, (both Juniors)
3rd Place - Melanie, Kathryn and Allie McGinty (Sophomore, Senior, 8th grade)
5th Place - Ellen Rapp and Jenna Ellis (Senior, Junior)
The team’s choreography received special recognition from judges as well. Our top notch choreography team includes: Ellen Rapp, Jenna Ellis, Abby Schoonover, Hayley Conry, Felicity Couch, Kathryn McGinty, and the co-captains: Erin Cotham and Marissa Moore.
The Pathfinder Pom Team also had wonderful time this weekend at the Spirit Showdown Competition at Brighton High School! The team placed 2nd in both their Kickline and Open routines!
The standings for solos:
Olivia Short - 1st place
Allison McGinty - 2nd place
Rachel Chambers - 3rd place
Haley Payne - 4th place
Olivia Short and Emma Larsen - 1st place
Allison McGinty and Ashley Fransee - 2nd place
Bailey Whitney and Sophia Morris - 3rd place
Fantastic weekend for all the Pinckney Pom Teams!
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FRESH WATER FOR FLINT
Despite wintery weather, on Saturday, January 16, students, teachers, residents and neighboring communities came together with incredible results. Pathfinder teachers were moved to organize an event for the residents of Flint who have been struggling to get fresh water into the hands of the city's neediest residents.
The event, Fresh Water for Flint, ran from 10-2 this past Saturday at the Pathfinder School in PInckney, MI. By 11:00, one 26 foot U-Haul was completely loaded! After a steady stream of donations from the residents of Pinckney and several organizations from Washtenaw and Livingston county, a total of three U-Hauls were needed with an estimated 3,000 cases in tow. Groups came from all over the area to donate- Ann Arbor Track Club, Village Elementary in Hartland, Brighton High School, Home Depot, Pinckney Chrysler Dodge, and many more. We even collected almost $300 in cash donations.
We delivered the water to a local shelter in Flint. Pastor Bobby, as he is affectionately called, runs the Mission of Hope in a run down area near 'cement city.' He not only hands out daily cases of water to residents, but also runs the mission as a post office, a library, a warming center, a place for a hot shower, a laundry facility, a homeless shelter, and a community center. Pastor Bobby proudly gave us a tour of his small building, all the while fielding phone calls and answering questions to local volunteers. One volunteer had come from St. Louis to see a friend - he was busy unloading cases of water that were stacked up in their sanctuary. Cars were loading the water to be delivered to a nearby storage center to make room for the homeless to sleep. The good news? We had three U-Hauls right outside - we promptly loaded their water into our trucks.
Many hands make light work - and this project was no exception! It would be impossible to express our gratitude to everyone that came together for this event. We would like to thank our helpers who made the trek down to Flint later in the evening. With their help, and the help of Pastor Bobby's volunteers, we were able to unload the cases in a couple of hours. The community of Pinckney can be proud of our role in this crisis - we opened our hearts and shared time and efforts to supply aid to a community with much greater needs than ours. We would like to thank Ed Bock for donating the U-Hauls. We are indebted to the 76 students who came and worked tirelessly and the parents who loaded the trucks, directed traffic, brought pizza and coffee, and organized the students loading the trucks. We want to also thank Positively Pinckney for spreading the word of the event and Ben Poirer for gathering donations. Busch's of Pinckney donated treats to help feed our hungry helpers. Rick Beaudin, our local PInckney Pirate also helped spread the word and donated generously.
Although I am sure that we have forgotten to thank someone, the true meaning of this event is clear. The citizens of Flint have a short reprieve in their need for clean drinking water, and the community of Pinckney can be proud of their efforts.
In the most sincerest way we can, we thank you!
Lori Scott & Chris Schmidtinckn