By Wesley Ward and Dylan Edwards--Eagle Staff Writers
The idea of computers running the world is a concept some aren't ready to grasp, but on campus numerous Eagles are creating the robots of the future, today.
“We have over 200 members in our clubs," began Robotics Club sponsor Daniel Johnson. "All of our students in Electronics, Robotics, Drafting, and Cybersecurity are members in our club." Regardless, new members are gladly accepted. Anyone with an interest is free to join, but taking certain classes is recommended for a better understanding of building, operational, and competition concepts.
“A lot of students have taken Electronics and Robotics classes. This helps students a lot to prepare for competition,” Johnson explained. “Knowledge about programming can also help out...[but] to be honest, the key is just to have an interest in learning.”
These competitions pose many benefits to interested Eagles in both high school and future careers.
“Students enjoy building a robot of their own design that can compete against other designs at the state and national levels," Johnson shared. "The experience is immeasurable. So many students are now pursuing the fields of electronics and robotics. At one competition, I even had a gentleman from the Department of Defense come over and talk to one of my students about a scholarship and opportunities. There is definitely a need for this skill in our ever growing technological society."
Junior Zakrie Richard, club member, continues the conversation by explaining how some competitions have operated.
“The way we compete depends on the theme of the competition. [For] last year's competition you had to build a robot that had to put balls into a tower," he recalled.
The pandemic has put some of these in-person competitions on the back burner, though.
“Unfortunately, due to strict competition rules, only a dozen students can compete in robotic competitions," Johnson added.
Richard has experience with these competitive adaptations; he and two other club members competed online last year.
No matter the restrictions, Richard has been forever changed by his experience in Robotics.
“When I first joined the club I had no idea how to code or even begin to build a robot but with the help of the other members and Mr. Johnson I was able to design a good idea [and learn] how to plan, build, and code a robot," he shared.
Johnson has guided countless Eagles through this same process, and hopes to inspire even more students throughout the upcoming years.
"[Robotics] builds up a lot of teamwork and collaboration among students, invoking imagination, creativity, and troubleshooting skills. We've became a tight knit group over the years, [and] it's amazing what the students are able to accomplish," he concluded.