Building robots

Seniors Eric Smith, Kevin Kopcinski, and junior Jack VanKannel in the Robotics Club room.

Hamzah Khan

Seniors Eric Smith, Kevin Kopcinski, and junior Jack VanKannel in the Robotics Club room.

The Robotics Club is a student stem program where students who join the club will design, build and create robots. The club usually meets together on Wednesdays in Room 7-13 during lunch. Ms. Joan Clark is the advisor of the club and has the meetings in her classroom, so she is the person you would see if you are interested in joining. This is one of many clubs for students to take if this suits your passion and it is good for gaining experiences as well as learning social and professional skills, which could help you later on in life.

The club each year usually starts off by showing inventions they made during the summer. That’s right, the club technically starts for members during the summer as they have to brainstorm an idea for a robot they can use for that year in their annual competitions. Each competition has them do certain tasks that the robot needs to complete, like for example, picking up something from the ground or being able to navigate around several objects in its path.

Speaking of the robots, each year a different robot is built by the team for the competitions. They have used scraps from the previous robots to build their new ones, but never reused the same robot. Also, they don’t come out perfectly the first few times, they have had incidents of where their robot has somewhat fallen apart before and each meeting they are finding more ways to improve them and more problems to solve. They’ve even had occasions where they would scrap the robot they are currently working on entirely and start from scratch. Using the leftover pieces of the previous one and new parts to build a new robot, also, they have had moments where they would build a new version of the current robot they are working on and build upon what works, while fixing problems the old one had to make it better than ever.

The craziest thing is this all made by five people, there are five members in the club with three of them being the most active in the club. Two of them are seniors, while one of them is a junior, they meet every Wednesday in their advisor’s room and Thursday in their clubroom, coming up with new ideas they could use to improve their robot and add on to it. They have even had it where their team and some other contestants had to fix problems their robot that was having at the last minute during the competition. “There’s been times where other teams had to fix some problems with their robot five minutes before the competition,” said senior Eric Smith.

Though, they do need more people to join the club because as of right now, they only got five members, two of whom will be graduating. So again, if you’re interested in joining this club, go to Ms. Clark’s room in 7-13 and she can help you out. Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience in robotics either, the other members are more than happy to help teach you the ropes of how things go. “When we first joined the club, we didn’t know much either,” said Smith, “But learned quickly over time from older members and are willing to teach newer members about how everything works.”