US Students Compete in FIRST Robotics Competition for Second Consecutive Year
The Upper School Robotics Team competed in the FIRST® Robotics Competition for the second year in a row March 4-6 at Hatboro-Horsham High School.
The team of 17 students includes veteran members from the pilot year, as well as students curious to experience the excitement of robot construction. Upon receiving their FIRST® kit in early January, "The Dark Byte" (as they call themselves) set to work conquering the challenges of robot design, engineering, mechanics, coding, and construction.
Team members have resourcefully recycled parts from last year’s ROARBOT and reconstructed them into a new design, paying close attention to the competition’s stringent guidelines. And while many competing schools have teams three times larger than ours with students divided up into specialties, our team members have taken on all facets of the process from start to finish.
“I am incredibly proud of what the team has already accomplished going into the competition portion of the season,” says robotics instructor and Upper School Science Department Chair Mr. Nick Selan. “I think the team was a bit surprised last year by the level of engineering and intricacy of the robots we compete against, and our team took note and made some huge leaps with our own robot.”
While it may be easy to feel like the underdogs among sizable teams with corporate sponsors, upgraded robot materials, and massive workshops, The Dark Bytes contended for a respective ranking among the 100 area schools.
“We earned the award for “Rookie Inspiration” last year as the rookie team that showed great promise despite several challenges, including the fact that we are such a small school,” Mr. Selan explains. “Many of the team members have referred to that award throughout the season when we had some tough design and construction challenges, and I think we will impress some veteran teams by how much we have grown as a team in just one year.”
Team Members: David Alexander ’16 Christian Bakopoulos ’16 Greg Caubel ’16 Julia Costacurta ’16 Freddy DiGregorio ’16 Jon Graham ’16 Skyler Hammond ’17 Claire Hoffman ’17 Andrew Hogan ’16 Jack Lutostansky ’19 Christine Malek ’16 Lingaire Ofosuhene ’19 Mariel Sackman ’16 Zahne Salzano ’19 Alex Schiffman ’17 Tyler Wilson ’16 Wescott Yeaw ’16
The second competition was held April 1-3 at Westtown High School, 975 Westtown Road, West Chester, PA 19382.