FTC Robotics: An inside look at the preparation


Preksha Kedilaya

Robotics teams Flourish, Bots and Winter Soldiers competing against each other for a match at the League Championship at Central Dewitt High School.

Preksha Kedilaya, News Editor

Robotics; A word gaining popularity among Pleasant Valley students. Although people are becoming more accustomed to the rising involvement of students competing in robotics, it can be difficult to understand what goes into preparing for a competition.

On Jan. 25, 4 robotics teams affiliated with PV attended the League Championship in DeWitt, Iowa. 3 of the 4 teams were able to advance to the Super Regionals calling for more preparation. 

Super Regionals is the next step of advancement for many of the teams in the area, and consists of many students from the Pleasant Valley school district. Super Regionals is taking place on Feb. 15 for students to display their work on their robot in the form of a competition. 

Junior Olivia Lucas is a member of one of the advancing teams, Flourish & Bots, a neighborhood team with all members from PV. Lucas dedicates her time to improving her software skills and the robot’s performance. “Recently I have been working on programming at home for a few hours prior to our meetings in order to begin testing as soon as I’m with the team,” she said. 

Lucas is aware of the significance of her dedication to preparing the team. “Throughout the season I have realized the importance of making sure the program is perfect,” she said. “It is directly related to the success of our team. If the program doesn’t work, the robot won’t either.”

Senior Sara Hoskins is another student actively involved in robotics. Her robotics team has performed well this season, and she explains how part of her team’s success comes from the knowledge she has gained from STEM classes offered at the school. 

“Learning how to use CAD (computer-aided design) in these engineering classes has brought a new angle that my robotics team is able to use,” Hoskins continues. “I have also learned how to use the engineering design process and how to apply it with almost every situation I have come across in robotics.”

Every robotics team must have a coach, and for one named Everything That’s Radical, their coach, Grant Housman, is proud of their hard work. “I am proud of all the time and hard work they put into their robot, as it is the key to success for the team. ”

Although the idea of students participating in robotics is not a new concept, the knowledge behind it is far greater. Students are able to use the skills they learn from STEM and robotics classes offered at the high school and help lead their team to success.