Robotics club hosts first competition and gains recognition

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Josh White

Robotics club advisor, Mr. Donald Schaefer, works with seniors David Walmart and Adam Hussain on a robot for the competition.

Mikayla Hyman, Staff Writer

For the initial 45 seconds,  robots autonomously try to gain points with no human intervention.  The team with the most points from this gain extra points in the final count.  Subsequently, another 1 minute and 45 seconds are delegated for robots to attempt to gain points while being controlled by students.  After the fight, points are tallied and a winner is declared.

This was the format of the first ever VEX competition hosted at Schreiber on Dec. 13.  The competition took place in the cafeteria in a twelve by twelve foot square arena, dotted with 22 red cubes and 22 blue cubes.  The robots competed head to head to gain points by building sky rises with tubes and placing cubes on poles.

“This competition was very exciting because it demonstrates our hard work and allowed us to share our passions locally,” said senior club member Evan Kaminsky. “It also lets us get support from people who wouldn’t usually experience the competitions.”

The planning process began in September, when technology teacher and club adviser Mr. Donald Schaefer asked Assistant Principal Mr. David Miller to gain permission from Principal Mr. Ira Pernick.

“It took a while to figure out all of the planning and be able to coordinate with all of the different bureaucracies in Schreiber, but overall it wasn’t as difficult as it could have been in other more conservative districts,” said Kaminsky.

Next, the team planned out the events’ logistics.  The cafeteria was chosen as the arena because of its abundance of outlets.  However, even the various charging stations around the room still were not enough for a robotics meet.  Mr. Schaefer worked with the maintenance staff to make more outlets available.

The work put into the event had a purpose greater than the competition itself.  One objective of the meet Mr. Schaefer explained, “is to drum up members.”  Mr. Schaefer wants the robotics team to expand.  The robotics club has few members.

“I’m sure they’re a good team . . . but I just don’t know about it,” said senior Greg Basham.

Another reason to host a meet was to share and spread knowledge.  Mr. Schaefer stated that the ultimate goal of every meet was for “everyone to learn something.”  Ultimately, members of the robotics club as well as Schreiber staff members, believe that the meet was a success.

“I was very happy that we were able to host a competition at Schreiber this year and it really shows our commitment to robotics,” said senior Robotics Club member Adam Hussain.  “As the president of robotics I was extremely happy with the way our whole team competed on Saturday and I couldn’t have asked for better team spirit.”