Robotics team prepares for upcoming contest


Nico Stranquist

Senior Onika Martin works on her team’s robot for the Oct. 24 contest.

The robotics team is preparing for their first state-wide contest this year, hosted in Indianapolis on Oct. 24. Their first official meeting was Tuesday Sept. 16.

“Basically, every year, we all meet for the interest meeting. After that, we naturally group with who we want to work with. The outliers are then put into groups of who we think they would work best with based on their interests and skills,” President of the robotics team, junior Matt Sauer said.

Sauer has been involved with robotics since freshman year when he joined the team. Before that, he built robots on his own throughout middle school.

With a new change in contest rules, team leadership must be mostly student-based, and the robots must be completely student-made.

We are all student-led, student-based… in reality it’s up… to the teams to accomplish their own goals,”

— Matt Sauer, 11

“We are all student-led, student-based. Mr. Amen is there to supervise and provide great mentorship, but in reality it’s up to the president and the teams to accomplish their own goals,” Sauer said.

The team meets every Tuesday and Thursday, and on alternating Saturdays.

Imad Sadi, a freshman, is new to the team this year.

“I have been interested in robotics since middle school. When I saw the robotics team in a list of school clubs, I knew it was what I wanted to do,” Sadi said.

This year, there are more new members than ever.

“The number one thing we need to do right now is to get to know each other. A team that gets along together builds good robots together,” Sauer said.

This year’s contest is called Vex Skyrise, and takes place on a 12 x 12 ft grid, where each team’s robot attempts to score points. Teams can earn one point for moving a 1×1 ft carbon cube onto a post in the field with their robot. For four points, teams have the option of building their own post in the center of the arena. Teams must build one robot to accomplish the tasks. The number of points scored determines how a team is placed.

“Our goal for placing in this contest is to focus on one task and get really good at it,” secretary of the robotics team, senior Onika Martin said. “[In the past] we have seen some robots that try to do everything, and then really struggle.”

With this strategy in mind, the team hopes to place well in the upcoming contest taking place on Oct. 24.

State qualifiers are in March. Qualifying teams can advance to compete in the national and world championships.

“Obviously, we want the shiny medal,” Sauer said.