The Seaford High School robotics team is ready for its upcoming competition. After weeks of planning and building, students will now wait for the SBPLI First Long Island competition in April to see how their robot measures up.
According to the rules, the robot had to be completed by Feb. 20, well in advance of the April 12-14 competition at Hofstra University. The students began building right after the holiday break and finished up over the February recess. This year’s challenge for each robot is that it has to be able to launch or place a milk crate onto a switch.
About 30 students are on the robotics team, under the direction of advisers Neal Hagan and Nick Isgro. It is participating in its sixth season of competition and last year finished fifth among 55 teams. The team includes a mix of newcomers and veteran members, such as juniors Lauren King and Joe Lange.
“I love the atmosphere of the competition,” said King, who added that she likes to see the different robot designs from each school. “We all come up with different ideas to do the exact same thing. No two robots are the same.”
Lange, who will be the robot’s driver at the competition, said he enjoys the connection between simple mechanics and modern technology that robotics provides. He added that being part of the team is giving him valuable experience for a career in mechanical engineering.
Some pieces of the robot were used from previous years’ robots, while others were made by hand in the Seaford High School shop rooms. While some team members have specialized roles like driver or safety captain, everyone contributes to the design and construction of the robot as well as the team concept.
With the robot now stored away, the team will spend the next few weeks preparing for the competition by discussing strategy, as each match features an alliance with two other teams. The students will also make decorations for the 10-foot by 10-foot pit that will house the robot at the event.
—Massapequa School District