January 26, 2010
Issaquah High School
The Issaquah Robotics Society is in full swing as it gears up for its first competition in March in Portland, Ore. The robotics club has an impressive history of victories, and this year will likely be no different, due to the members’ enthusiasm and dedication.
“We just had our kickoff where we found out what this year’s competition game will be, so currently, we are prototyping for our competition robot,” said robotics member John Feiler, a junior. A competition game is what each team must make their robot for.
“This year, it is like a weird version of soccer,” Feiler said. The club designs its robot to be successful at the game, but as Jared Fernandez, IHS robotics advisor said, the purpose of robotics is “to inspire youth to be interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields.” Feiler agreed. “It’s a good educational experience that can prepare us for future careers in science and technology,” he said. “Plus, it’s fun!” The Robotics Society meets Mondays after school in Fernandez’s room.
Liberty High School
The stereotypical image of a scientist is male. A quick Google image search is enough to confirm it. Liberty High School’s Physettes Club strives to break that image. “Physettes is a club that promotes feminism within the fields of science and engineering,” club president and junior Danielle Lemmon said. Last year, the club took part in Washington State’s Cool School Challenge, a program that any school in the state can take up to increase environmental awareness among its staff and students. The club is looking to do the program again this year.
“We audit teachers on their energy usage,” Lemmon said. “And the money that we help save goes back into [Liberty’s] budget.” Physettes Club also hosted a science-tutoring program after school, for freshmen to study for finals, and members are planning to volunteer at the salmon hatchery this spring. The Physettes Club is very eager to change that scientist image; the club has more than 30 members. Physettes Club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays after school in science teacher Mark Buchli’s classroom.
Skyline High School
Armed with a few dedicated members and a tight budget, the Skyline Robotics Club aims to leave its mark at the 2010 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Competition March 25-27 at Key Arena. They have just over a month to finish designing and building a robot capable of navigating through obstacles while playing a game of something like one-on-none soccer. Club president Dominique Porcincula and team member Chris Schappell launched into an all-too technical guideline of how to build a robot.
It involves Computer Aided Design, blueprints and math skills, but “most of it’s all hardware,” Schappell said. The budget is $8,000, just enough for a basic robot. “We don’t have the resources to make something hover,” Schappell said. The start-up kit alone is $5,000. Club advisor Hearan Shim said the first robotics team made a great robot last year, but lacked members and resources. Upon arriving at competition, though, “Everyone’s crazy. It’s so fun,” she said. With a larger team and three engineers as mentors, the team needs only financial support to build a killer robot. Money matters aside, “What makes a good robot? Teamwork,” Porcincula said. Robotics Club meets at Skyline every Tuesday after school.