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UNITED: Robotics Club offers hands-on experience

by KAREN MACK, Gazette Student News Reporter on May 01, 2015 10:49 AM

ARMAGH — Robotics is a club that has captured the interest of many students at United High School because it challenges them to apply math, science and engineering in the building of an actual robot.

Robotics Club members are Joshua Bowers, Caleb Bracken, Nathan Brown, Matthew Dill, Tyler George, Kolt Jarvis, Brendan Marino, McKenzee Miller, Joey Naugle, Bria Persaud, Jason Robinson, Joshua Roof, Ryan Schwartz, Ralph Stewart, Madeline Stinson, Nathan Thompson, Caleb Walls, Levi Walls and Noah Walls. Miller is president, Persaud is vice president, Bowers is secretary and Roof is treasurer.

Persaud said, “Robotics is all about using planning and engineering to make a robot. My main job is to design the robot and oversee the construction of it. We club members have to work together and communicate in order to make a design into something real. It’s challenging, but it works because we all have specific jobs. Different people are designated the tasks of wiring, designing, coding, making models and the actual building of the robot.”

Persaud has been involved in robotics since ninth grade and believes it has improved her ability to work with a team, to plan efficiently and to meet deadlines.

She said, “We are taught how to apply science and math in real situations. It’s very hands-on and it’s taught me a lot.”

Persaud also suggested that people should join robotics because it provides a unique opportunity to apply education in a creative way.

Caleb Walls said, “The best thing about robotics is the competitions. I’m in charge of building the backup robot we take to Bots IQ. I’ve been involved since ninth grade and I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve learned to use power tools and how to wire electronics.”

The club adviser, Michael Lee, noted that “The goal of robotics is to construct a remote-controlled robot that can be used in the Bots IQ Competition. The competition is a cage match where the robots battle until one is declared winner. Basically, two bots enter and one bot leaves.”

The Bots IQ competition was held at the California University of Pennsylvania Convocation Center on April 24.

The preliminary competition, which the Robotics Club attended in order to prepare for the competition, took place at the Westmoreland County Community College on March 14.

The preliminary competition provided everyone with an overview of their competition.

It gave the club a chance to observe other people’s work in order to improve their own.

The Robotics Club did an excellent job at the Bots IQ competition on April 24. It ranked in the top eight competitors and the members’ robot made it to the fourth round.

Persaud said, “We did very well in the first round. I was glad that we made it into the top eight. We may not have got to go as far as we wanted with the bot, but we still had a lot of fun at the competition. It is really cool to see something you’ve created compete against other people’s creations. We even enjoyed watching our robot get destroyed. Overall, we did well and we had a lot of fun. We learned a lot and we are already anxious to apply our new knowledge and ideas to next year’s robot.”

Lee said, “I encourage students to join robotics because there is a lot of demand for individuals who excel in math and science and know how to apply their knowledge in a hands-on way. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers offer the most job security and economic benefits. Robotics prepares students for life in a fun way.”

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MARTHA McKEE
May 01, 2015 10:48 AM
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