By Colin Burwinkel
Many students on campus are involved in extracurricular activities. When the bell rings to release students, many go to football practice, play practice or even detention.
But something new this year that many students are beginning to get involved in is the Robotics Club.
“The Robotics Club’s main objective in its inaugural year is to compete in the VEX tournament,” Roland Melchor said.
Melchor is a geometry teacher in the math department and is the club’s moderator.
“The robots main function is to pick up four bean bags and place them somewhere else,” Melchor said.
Initiated by students, the Robotics Club is in its first year. With a $4,000 check from an alum and the support of teachers and parents, students are ready to dominate at local and even state level tournaments.
Despite coming in last place at their inaugural tournament, their robot, named Jinnyfred (a combination of the names of the two girls in the class) was voted “cutest robot” at the competition.
The Robotics Club teamed up with Incarnate Word Academy to make the group one of the most distinguished in town. With such high caliber math and science students at both schools, the year looks to be promising, even in their cardinal year.
The club’s members spend an ample amount of time constructing and planning how their robot is going to be able to perform its specific function. They have to use creative and critical thinking skills. There is lots of thinking outside the box.
“It’s not about winning, it’s about learning”, junior Charles Pressler said, who also serves as a team captain. “It’s about developing your skills as an engineer.”
Between the Rocketry Club, the Robotics Club and the Java Competition Team, there is a wide array of opportunities for students who are gifted in math and science to participate in an extracurricular activity that is also challenging.
“I just love to build stuff,” sophomore Jack Rentz said. “We all do, really.”
The Robotics Club is looking for grants from engineering companies to help further enhance their club.
Members of the Robotics Club try to meet twice a week, until about 5:30. They usually meet in Science Dean Dr. Pete Nordloh’s room.
“It’s just fun to be around other people that enjoy what you do as well”, Pressler said.
The club has a bright future; with a very academically strong student body, many are sure to join its soon-to-be-storied ranks.
Those interested in joining the club should contact Pressler or Melchor.