Assembling all the right parts


Cora Bennett

Clink! While at a meeting for Robotics Club freshman Fianna Glenn and Robert Raffety prepare their robot for competition.“The hardest part is planning, after that you have to assemble and program which takes one to two months.”

Madie Ybay, Features Editor

Wheels skid across the floor as robots compete against one another. Students control their robots, as concentration set in their eyes.

“I joined robotics back in 7th grade because I thought it was interesting and would be fun. I joined this year because I wanted to help get it started at East,” sophomore Dublin Smyth said.

Robotics Club is centered around designing, constructing, operating, and applying robots to different challenges. At East, instructor Ronda Aken is the club sponsor.

“We usually kind of relax and talk about how to build a robot. Robotics is pretty good, I definitely have fun,” junior Josh Huewitt said.

Meetings for Robotics Club are held in H-08 and are individually scheduled each week on different days to fit with everyone’s schedule. Currently they are just relaxing as they wait for next year’s competition to be announced.

“The best part is when we can get the robot to work and working with my friends. They’re pretty supportive when we did a competition,” Huewitt said. “I didn’t really have friends in Robotics Club who I wasn’t already friends with.”

However during competition seasons, meetings start with unpacking the robot and setting a goal to achieve. For the rest of the meeting students work on achieving that goal by modifying and adjusting the robot by troubleshooting it and seeing what problems need to be fixed.

“Designing the robot is personally my least favorite part. It’s so hard to work with restrictions and still make something that can function and win competitions. Building it is my favorite part,” Huewitt said.

When building the robot, they start with gears, motors, metal pieces and other materials that they screw together. First they have to design the robot within an 18-by-18 inch frame.

When designing, students must think about the size, strength, and the different challenges the robot will have to overcome.

“I’m really proud of the kids this year, they’re really focused and working well as a team to get our robot into the best shape it can be,” Aken said.

Robotics competes each year. For the past two years robotics has made it to semifinals. This year’s competition was on Feb. 16 at UNL, where East’s club made it to semifinals once again.

“My favorite thing about being in robotics are the competitions, since I see middle school friends, or programming because it is fun, or just hanging out with the other people in robotics,” Smyth said.