Robotics: A Team Challenge with High Dividends

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Six Notre Dame students attended this year’s state robotics tournament and with the help of Mr. Yang Yang, the robotics teacher, managed to place 15th out of the 48 teams invited to the competition.

Noah Frigo, Samuel Schmitz, Chase Mura, Aldo Gonzalez, Bennett Schmitz, and Morgan Schram worked hard for the entire year both in robotics class and after school to achieve this accomplishment.

The team had to conquer four competitions to even qualify for the state invitational, and it was only after hours of hard work that they could celebrate this success. As the season progresses, fewer and fewer teams attend each meet, starting with all of the robotics students and ending with the state team.

“It’s the students working together that makes things happen,” said Yang. “You need some students driving the robot, some students programming it, and some building it.”

Yang believes the program offers a lot more than just something to put on your college applications.“It offers the unique opportunity to work as a team and get hands-on experience with principles you’ve been learning about in your science and math classes,” he explained.

Frigo, a senior on the state team, agrees.

“It’s a great way to build personal skills like listening and compromise.”

Frigo not only enjoys the challenge of robotics but also the relaxation. “My classmates and I use the class as downtime,” he said. “It gives us the ability to step away from school or work and just think about something we love.”

Frigo also mentions the fun in the club that stops for ice cream and programs the robot to do entertaining things.

Competitions are a little bit more high pressure.

“One small screw-up could land you in dead last, meaning all of your hard work designing, testing and building were for nothing,” said the senior. “Every detail matters but I say a quick prayer asking God to watch over us and hope our hard work pays off in the end.”

The team is looking to expand and Frigo urges everyone to look into it. “Not only does it look good on a college application, but it’s a great opportunity to learn how to problem solve with a team.”