Through robotics, Abbie Compton digs deep into how the world works

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Abbie Compton

Senior Abbie Compton, an intelligent captain of the Sub-Electric group.

Senior Abbie Compton excels in an intense subject that keeps her curiosity at bay.

Abbie loves math, and she especially loves how she can find answers to the world around her. At school, she takes AP Physics to keep her mind going, but after school, she discovers the interaction aspect of her hobby on the Robotics Team.

“For me, it’s really fun,” Abbie said. “And it’s really cool seeing how the world works.”

Abbie follows her natural drive for discovering the ways of the world through math and robotics. Sadly, as a senior, she will be saying goodbye to her team that she’s been a part of for four years. On the other hand, she’s spending her time left as the captain of the Sub-Electric Group. 

“It’s kind of like a step-by-step process all within a six-week time window,” Abbie said. “There are a lot of parts involved–mechanical, electrical, all different kinds of parts. And I love that we all work together to build that robot in the six-week window, and then, we can compete with it.”

Dedicated students from FHC, FHE, and FHNmake up the Robotics Team. From there, the students are split into three different groups: Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Sub-Electric group, and the Drive Team. Having students from the three Forest Hills schools, who share the same interest, create a strong, hands-on experience. Because of the interactivity amongst the diverse students, Abby enjoys every time she’s with her team.

Together, the team formulates a master plan for their robot because, in six weeks, they are off competing at districts in a high school gymnasium. This year, the objective for their robot, Neowise, is shooting dodgeballs and climbing on a teeter-totter. Abbie only has so much time before districts to figure out an overwhelming handful of problems regarding Neowise and how to acquire any answers to questions she’s been thinking about. 

“I really love competing, honestly,” Abbie said. “I’m really, really competitive, and seeing something out on our field competing that [we] worked on nearly every day for six weeks, and then seeing it actually doing well and winning is just really prideful.”

Initially, the competitiveness and problem-solving aspects of the team were not what appealed most to Abbie. One day, in the eighth grade, her science teacher was talking about it in class. They were communicating to the classes about a show that the Robotics Team was putting on, and Abbie and her friends decided that they were going to buy tickets and go. From the show at lunch, she was enticed; so much so, she went to the open house and joined the team. 

I really like the idea of building things, having a team, and making a little robot. I find it really interesting how [my teammates] could build something like that.”

— Abbie Compton

In a way, Abbie’s love for anything that involves math helped her make the decision of officially joining the district’s Robotics Team, but she was also stunned at how innovative the members were. 

“I really like the idea of building things, having a team, and making a little robot,” Abbie said. “I find it really interesting how [my teammates] could build something like that. The standard robots [are] 120 pounds–it’s pretty big, and so I’d always find it interesting that you can build that from scratch, and I wanted to know how they could do that and what purpose they did with that.”

Without her friends and the robotics show announcement her eighth-grade science teacher made, Abbie may have never felt the deep impact of a hobby she’s extraordinarily passionate about. 

“[Robotics is] something that I really love to do and that I’m really interested in,” Abbie said. “Being able to do that with some of my best friends that I’ve had for two, three years now [is] really fun. So, I’m doing something that I love while also doing it with a bunch of people that also love doing it. And they’re my best friends.”