“Find a way or make one!” is the motto of Lansdale Catholic Robotics Team 272, which has been going strong since its inception well over a decade ago.
If someone were to walk in on a typical robotics meeting, they would find smiling faces and intelligent brains working alike to make not only a good time but also an efficient team. Mr. Larkin, who has been a mentor in the Robotics program for the last 15 years, says that his favorite part of robotics is “the challenge of coming up with a design and coming together towards a common goal”. This common goal is discovered in January, with what the team members fondly call the "kickoff" of the robotics competitionsseason.
Robotics teams all around the world meet together and watch an internet broadcast by the group “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”, or FIRST. This broadcast explains the game that FIRST will be sponsoring in the upcoming year, as well as an idea of what type of tasks each team's robot must be able to perform to flourish within the competition.
This year, FIRST has assigned the undertaking of Rebound Rumble, a basketball game played by robots! The robot each team constructs must meet basic specified prerequisites, but fundamentally each team has the liberty to be creative. Soon after the kickoff, Team 272 team meets in mentor Ms. Williams's classroom or lab, where robotics meetings are conducted, and the team discusses ideas. During the brainstorming session, every team member in the room has an opportunity to have his or her idea heard for at least 15 minutes, even if they are still a rookie. After they decide a plan comes the time to build. The "build season" is six busy, bustling weeks in which robotics members devote many hours to perfecting their robot. Though it may be hectic, many group members like this time because its always full of anticipation for the upcoming competitions and allows for bonding between teammates.
Pictured: Robotics members hard at work building their robot.
"As a freshmen, I was unconfident about joining robotics, but I joined anyway. I was not an engineer, but after the season I had become accultured to the language of mechanics. I even ripened a passion for Team 272, a great elation and loyalty," said a Junior member of LC's robotics team.
The competitions are crazy, with face-paint, mascots, screaming, loud music, and lots of dancing incorporated into the actual robot competition.
"Our mentors escort us in the right direction and influence us positively, not only within the six weeks of the season, but in life," said one of the team's best members. Similarly, Joe Morano, class of 2014, said, “I love learning about robots and preparing for a career in engineering.”
Pictured: Faculty mentor Miss Wiberley helps with the planning of the robot.
For the 2012 season, Team 272 is traveling to New Jersey as well as St. Louis, Missouri, to compete with their robot! A special thanks to Miss Wiberley, the Latin and French teacher, and Miss Williams, the biology teacher, for sponsoring robotics! Go Team 272, the Cyber-Crusaders!