SHEFFIELD -- Mount Everett Regional High School's robotics team built, programmed and modified a robot that will compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition at Bridgewater State University today.
But on Friday they were confronted with another valuable engineering lesson: Machines can break and need to be repaired.
Two students were hard at work trying to diagnose why the robot wasn't moving as planned.
"We want to make sure we have all this figured out," said senior Carina Alden, who added it was better learning about the problem one day ahead of time.
Only two of the 24 high school teams today will advance on to St. Louis for the world championship in the FIRST Robotics Competition. FIRST stands for "for inspiration and recognition of science and technology." Founded in 1989, the FIRST competition seeks to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders.
Mount Everett's robotics team designed a robot using a tool kit that ably overcame the qualifying competition course. The robot uses a scissors ladder lift that can take elevated plastic doughnut rings from a hook and transport them to a different elevated hooks varying heights off the ground.
The robot requires one person to manage the scissors ladder, another person to drive the robot, and another person to survey the obstacle course.
During the competition, the robot will work in tandem with another school's robot. With the robots competing in the same ring, a robot could
Paul O'Brien, who serves as the team's "mentor," said Mount Everett's robotics team was created to promote creativity and technical skills in students.
Win or lose, O'Brien said the students will have learned a valuable lesson. "While it's great to win, it's really just a show of what they've [achieved]."
This is the first time Mount Everett has qualified for the competition. No other school in Berkshire County will be competing, although many high schools don't have a robotics program.
The other team members include, freshmen Jake Christinat and Justin Makuc; sophomores Max Lowenstein and Kosta Casivant; and senior Jason Dagruel.
Alden has been a part of the school's robotics group since she was a freshman. She also has learned a lot in the process.
"I know how to build a robot, fix the robot, and write the program," Alden said.
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