By Kendall Howze
More often than not, news about Glenelg’s various sports teams, theater department, or music department are talked about over the announcements. Whether it’s a win in a game, information about a show, or news about a competition, there is one team that has been often overlooked: The Glenelg Robotics team.
This year’s robotics team has been more successful than previous years having won numerous awards. Every year, teams all over the country compete in a nation-wide competition, the FRC (FIRST Robot Competition). A video is sent out to all of the different teams at the beginning of their season in January, announcing that year’s new challenge. Along with the video, they receive a 200 page rule book. Each team then has six weeks to build their robot and is not allowed to touch it after the time allotted.
Team 888, has been extremely successful, beginning their season by winning the Engineering Inspiration Award after the Chairman's Award. This is the second most prestigious award, given for outreach and the way members run their team. Along with the actual robotics competition, the program encourages outreach activities. Team 888 has gone above and beyond, starting two small robotics programs at Lisbon Elementary School. Previously, the school didn’t have engineering activities, but with their new robotics programs, kids are learning more about engineering and learning constructive skills. In addition to their award for outreach, Team 888 won yet another award when they attended a national advocacy conference to advocate for inner city funding. Their team came in second place at this conference, winning Gracious Professionalism.
As far as the competition itself, Glenelg’s team not only qualified for district championships this year, but qualified for the World Championship. Members of the team are currently fundraising to raise money to pay for their transportation, as they will be flying to Detroit where the competition is held. Senior and Co-Captain Melissa Kelley said that the reason for this year’s success and their overall improvement from the last few years is “because we have an organizational structure this year and have computer aided design.” Clearly that has paid off, because Team 888 has qualified for Worlds for the first time in ten years.
If you’re looking to be a part of the robotics team, it’s not too late to inquire about joining the team, as there are competitions year round during their off-season. The team’s coach, Raymond Gerstner (an engineering teacher at Glenelg) can always provide more information. Senior Robotics member, Cole Lahmann, encourages students to join robotics, as you are able to “Learn how to be a responsible member in business” and apply skills learned from being in robotics to jobs in the future. Whether you’re planning on joining or not, be sure to support Team 888 as they get ready to compete for Worlds.