Last Sunday, February 24th, we followed the UT Robotics club to their first competition. They participated in FIRST Robotics competition in South Hills. The team came in 21st place but won a judge’s award for their commitment to founding the team. The team learned a lot of valuable information from the competition. The Uniontown Area Teachers Association helped with a donation and robotic parts were donated by another school district. Mrs. Wallace was the UHS faculty sponsor and Jennifer Deichert was the Penn State Fayette 4H sponsor.
Many of the team members were enthusiastic to comment on the event. “I had a good time.” said Alex Eitner. “It was interesting to see what the other teams brought to the table, and it really showed us what other experienced teams were doing. Andrew Schoener said “It was a valuable experience for the team as a whole.” Noah Trimmer, team captain, said “It helped to see other robots and we can improve upon our design much more.”
The club’s story is what sets itself apart from some of the other teams. Back in the spring of 2018, Noah Trimmer had the ambition to start the club and organize it by the end of the school year. The team members worked over the summer to secure funding and work on the robot, and they ended up learning a lot in the process. By the time the competition rolled around, everything was said and done, except for the night before the competition, as somehow all of the programming done to get the robot to be autonomous was deleted. Despite this setback, the team was able to code everything they lost after several hours of caffeine fueled typing. The robot was ready for the competition shortly after, and they went on to compete. As for next year, the team has already held a meeting discussing the competition guidelines and rules, and they’ve started to discuss the possible designs that they might incorporate to have a better chance in the next competition. The club is also in the process of expanding it’s reach to other students and possible sponsors/mentors. The team is looking forward to the next meet.