By Nora Lowe
Saturday morning finds a small group of students tinkering in the robotics lab. This has been the fourth year that the BHHS Robotics Team has participated in the Vex Robotics competition, according to Mr. Lichten, the club’s supervisor.
Preparing to compete at Vex requires hours of coding, tweaking, and problem-solving in order to ensure that the bots function properly. Mr. Lichten elaborates that “just about any period of the day you might find a team member working in the lab on their bot.” The hardworking team is composed entirely of seniors, including David White, Seth Morrison, Carlos Toribio, and Elena Lowe.
The work-process is time consuming and requires attention to detail, as “Each step towards accomplishing an objective leads to new challenges that need overcoming,” as Mr. Lichten eloquently establishes. He continues that the Robotics Team is constantly mastering new scientific skills such as “testing different hypotheses they generate multiple times a period.” Working with the bots also demands patience. “Our robot and code requires constant adjustments, because something that might work one day might not work the next,” Elena says.
Seth, a senior Robotics Team member, describes that contributing towards creating the team’s bot was an experience that “filled a large void,” because he had spent the beginning of his senior year preparing for the Science Research Regeneron paper submission and was seeking another activity to pursue. He explains that he likes “pretty much everything about the place.” He even notes that the group listens to music as they work, and that “a good portion” of his Spotify playlist can be attributed to the club.
At the tournament, Elena noticed that “it was interesting to see how different teams approached building their robot.” The competition was structured so that two teams, who may never have met before, must collaborate in order to collectively score the most points against another pair of teams.
Seth notes that unfortunately, “everything that could have gone wrong with our robots did.” Yet, the club feels that their countless hours of toil were not in vain, and Seth recognizes that even though the competition proved unfruitful, the challenges they faced were “hilarious at the same time.”