By Aimee YEGHIAYAN
The week before shipping the robot off that students at Clark High School worked six weeks to perfect, the team held a sponsor dinner to celebrate the near-end and to thank donors. During the dinner, held on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and hosted by the Clark Robotics team 696, sponsors had a chance to see what their donations were being used for.
At the dinner, students explained and demonstrated how their robot would work and answered any questions. They also showed others how they use the skills acquired during Robotics, including problem solving.
“We learned how to meet our deadlines and that hard work pays off,” Amalia Hakobyan said. Skills gained in Robotics are often applicable in the “real world.” Students also use mathematic equations and formulas that they thought would be useless outside of class, proving all of the hard work put in was worthwhile.
Clark’s team is hoping that Measure S, a bond that will help pay for essential technology upgrades, will pass, allowing the school to enlarge the Robotics room, currently shared with cinematography. This expansion would not only allow the Robotics team to have its own space, but it would also give the team the ability to complete all of the tasks included in creating the robot on their own.
“It would be nice if we could do everything on site so that the students can actually learn, because that is what they are missing right now,” mentor Rodger Widholm said. “You have to wait for parts to arrive, for pieces to get machined, which uses up valuable time.”
As a mentor, Widholm helps out with the machining and engineering concepts, aiding the students with solutions to problems they can not solve by themselves.
“I take their wild ideas and make them something they can actually build,” Widholm stated. Mentors are volunteers, supplying their time to help the students gain skills and the ability to create the robot with their own ideas.
The Robotics team’s competition, held in the Long Beach Sports Arena on March 25 – 26, will be its chance to show off the hard work and dedication. Often this is more than just a club to students, but more of a family.
“I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I fell in love with robotics,” admitted second year Robotics member Hasnain Shamim. “We all come together to build something we could not accomplish by ourselves.”