FHC Robotics team takes first place at their competition


Each January, the Robotics Team is faced with a unique challenge. Their task is to create a robot that can complete the challenge, which takes teamwork, skill, and perseverance. Senior Olivia Thomas has been involved in Robotics since the summer before her freshman year and has been successful in leading the team to outstanding victories as team manager.

Last season, the team won their district competition, which is considered an incredible feat. After that victory, expectations for the upcoming season were high, and needless to say the team prevailed by winning districts for the second year in a row.

“We aren’t necessarily a “powerhousea�� team yet, but we’re certainly getting a lot of attention and recognition from other teams for our recent accomplishments,” Olivia said. “It can take teams many years to be consistent with their success; I don’t know if we’re there yet, but we’ve built strong bots two years in a row, and we’re more of a well-known team now, [which may help us in the future.]”

This weekend, the team took home another astonishing victory: first place at their competition last weekend.

“At our competition two weeks ago, we were ranked 30 out of 34,” Olivia said. “We got really unlucky with our qualification matches. To see our bot finally perform as intended this past weekend was really rewarding.”

In preparation for this past competition, the team spent time redesigning and improving their bot. On top of the physical improvements made to the robot, the team controlling the bot as well as the group that manipulates the elements of the challenge have had time to work on their communication, fortifying the bond they have with each other. With such a strong bond between the team members, operations run smoothly and more effectively, proving to cede impressive results.

While the time commitment required for a successful robotics team (roughly 24 hours a week) may be rigorous, the more time the team spends practicing together, the smoother the operations are at a competition.

Olivia helps the team run swiftly and smoothly as team manager. She helps with the actual construction of the robot and makes sure that operations are running fluently, as another key aspect of her job is communicating to students and parents alike to ensure everyone is aware of what is going on.

With the help of dedicated participants such as Olivia, the Robotics Team has seen immense victories. This stems from great leadership from team members similar to Olivia, as well as equally motivated participants. At this rate, the team is looking at more success, maybe even more so next season than this past one.

“This year’s success was a direct result of the time and passion from the students and mentors,” Olivia said. “I know so many people who have gone above and beyond to see this team succeed, which is inspiring to me and definitely pushes me. We rely on each other a lot, since much of what we do is really complex. It’s fascinating to think the design, fabrication, and programming are all headed by students.”