Submitted by Clawson Public Schools
On Saturday, January 5th the Clawson High School Robotics Club gathered together to watch the live webcast of the FIRST Robotics League (usfirst.org) kick-off for the 2013 season.
The students in the club were waiting for the release of information on the 2013 competition game. This years’ game is Ultimate Ascent, a Frisbee-based game. The robot must be able to pick-up, carry, and shoot a Frisbee. It also must climb a ten -foot tall pyramid that is located in the middle of the playing field. This is the task for a three-on-three competition that lasts two and half minutes.
The students have six weeks to build their robot beginning with the January 5 kick-off event. Students handle every aspect of building their robot. This includes designing, meeting with sponsors, getting supplies, building the actual robot, finances, and creating a webpage among other things. Our students work on their robot in class, after school, evenings, and on Saturdays.
The Robotics Club, known as “Turbo Trojans”, was started by Ryan Brinks and Jim Kiefer four years ago at Clawson High School. The first year they competed in the games, they made it all the way to the state championship. They are hoping to make it to Nationals this year, which will be held in St. Louis.
The Robotics Club currently has 27 students ranging from freshmen to seniors, both male and female. Our Turbo Trojans have interests in business, CAD, programming, engineering, science, technology, and math.
Some of CHS graduates that were involved in the Robotics Club attend Kettering, CMU,and OU, and have a strong interest in technology fields. Some former Turbo Trojans have returned to mentor this year’s students.
Ryan Brinks states that the Robotics Club has local Clawson sponsors such as V-Box USA, Munro & Associates, and ND Industries. They also wish to thank Behr, PTC, and The General Motors Foundation for providing money and support.
Here are some quotes and comments from students participating in the Turbo Trojans Clawson High School Robotics Club:
“Getting to work with my hands (this opportunity provides) a sense of structure and teamwork” – Angel Kennedy, Clawson High School Junior.
“I have made great friends who are willing to help me, this is a great opportunity to learn a lot, and possibly get scholarships for college. The CHS Robotics teams were the only way for 9th graders to get involved in technology and robotics”. – Chris Peterson, Clawson High School Freshman.
“I get the feeling of accomplishing something in my fields of interest, which are
science and technology. I was attracted to the discussion of strategy, as well as the design and actual building of the robot”. – Caleb Prater, Clawson High School Junior.
Along with the high school Turban Trojans Robotics Club, Clawson Middle School and Schalm Elementary School also have very active robotics clubs. Noel Slowik, Clawson Middle School Math and Science teacher started the program from grant money received from Oakland Schools and the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association (OCCRA) Vex Program. There are ten middle school students involved in two teams. These students created two robots from kits received from Oakland Schools. The first competition was held on January 12th, where the 6th graders competed against primarily 7th and 8th graders.
Todd Wisniewski and Andrea Cole started the Schalm Robotics team with 15 students. Schalm currently has three teams, all-boys, all-girls, and co-ed teams. The 2013 season marks their second year in existence. In late November, they competed in the Roboparade at Lawrence Technological University and the Roboparade that took place at Cobo Center inside the North American International Auto Show on January 19th.
Here are some quotes and comments from our Schalm teams:
“You get to build and come up with creative ideas that no one else has come up with”. – Ellie Franklin, Schalm 5th grader.
“My father is a mechanic, he showed me all the tools and parts and I thought it
would be a cool experience, and I would be a good helper on the team”. –
Camryn Harlan-Willimas, Schalm student.
“I’m looking forward to showing off our robot, see the other robots, and seeing
the cars built by robots (at the North American Auto Show)”. – Bruce Smith,
Schalm 5th grader.
All in all, we in Clawson are very proud of our robotics students and are looking forward to more competitions.