Robotics at NHS
This year was the inaugural year of the Robotic program at Napoleon High school. Students in this club met throughout the year to develop a wide range of skills relating to robotics.
In the fall, students began developing their logic, way finding, and programming skills. Students worked in small teams to create and navigate a variety of obstacle courses with programmable Sphero robots. All students focused on creating a program to navigate the maze completely autonomously. Developing this skill was critical in preparation for the Robofest Competition held by Lawrence Tech University in Southfield, MI.
In January, Robofest revealed the challenge for this year’s competition. Teams were tasked with creating an autonomous robot that was capable of automatically collecting objects from a table and placing them in a designated location. The robotics program assembled three teams of students to compete in this challenge.
Teams designed and built their own robot to complete the challenge. To build and program a robot, students developed a wide variety of skills. For some students, this was the first time they had ever used tools in a building project. This was an even greater challenge for these students since they were building an original robot design. Programming the robot was also a challenge for students. Most students in the robotics program had little or no experience with writing code prior to this year. With much patience, students began learning the “ins and outs” of writing programming, with a lot of trial and error along the way. Moreover, throughout the program, students realized the value of cooperation within their small teams and were able to capitalize on each other’s strengths and support each other throughout the competition.
In March and April, teams competed in Robofest through a series of regional events to qualify for the World Championship Robofest held at Lawrence Tech. Napoleon’s first robotics team to compete in this competition was the “Shebots”, an all-girls team comprised of Elizabeth Phelps, Izzy Ford, and Paige Roden. The team came in second place at their event and were automatically qualified for the World Championship on May 19, 2018. Napoleon’s other two robotics teams (“Team Kyle”- Zack Taylor, Austin Hargis, and Luke Olson and “The Robot Whisperers”- Kelsey Ressler, Ray Weatherwax, and Robert Bailey) competed later in the season.
Robofest’s World Championship is from May 17-19 at Lawrence Tech University. Robotics teams from all over the world will be in attendance, including 2 teams from Napoleon High School. “Team Kyle” competes Friday, May 18 at 5:30 pm in the “BottleSumo” category. The “Shebots” will compete Saturday, May 19 at 8:30 am in the Robofest main event.
Good Luck Pirates as you compete in the Robofest’s World Championship!
We’re proud of all your hard work & accomplishments ~ GO PIRATES!