Newly formed Robotics Team shows great promise

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This year, a brand-new club has been introduced that allows students to expand their horizons and work in the Houston high-school community like never before: The Robotics Team.

Led by Ms. Warnes, the team is joining forces with other students at Lamar High School and Carnegie Vanguard High School as well as an assortment of home-schooled students as part of an organization known as DiscoBots to compete at the state, national, and even worldwide level.

The partnership was discovered unintentionally. Ms. Warnes was in communication with Lamar about a different project when she learned about their robotics team and their mission to help other schools who did not have a robotics team get started. Lamar has both a Varsity and Junior Varsity team, and since the JV team did not have enough students, St. Thomas was able to join the team right away, despite being halfway through the school year.

Ms. Warnes praised Lamar’s eagerness and happiness to include the St. Thomas team and help them in any way they needed.

“They have been so welcoming. I have participated in things where you felt like they invited you to come, but really your job was to sit and watch them do stuff, but it was not like that at all,”

Ms. Warnes, Robotics Team sponsor

They were even given the opportunity to drive the robot during their very first meeting.

The St. Thomas team is currently made up of four students, with the total number of students among the several schools being around 50. They meet at least once a week and sometimes twice to learn about the different parts of the team, since the team is still very new. There are various areas of work that go in to the development and creation of the robot, including a manufacturing team, a design team, a communications team, and a programming team. Because of this, students of all different kinds of interests and talents are able to contribute in different ways that ultimately end in a fully-functioning robot.

“Because we’re working with teams that have had success in the past, I like to believe that some of their success will rub off on us,”

 Joseph Hassell, junior 

Photo by: Justin Van

These robots are then brought to competitions to complete a specific challenge in order to attempt to qualify for state, national, and world competitions. This year, the challenge is to throw as many jack-shaped objects over a wall and on to their competitor’s side as they can in a specific amount of time. At the end of the competition, the jacks are counted and the team with more jacks on their competitor’s side is declared the winner. Competitions are quite frequent, with two coming up over the next couple weeks. This year the state competition is in Waco, which the team has already qualified for.

As the team is still very new, students are more than welcome to join or talk to Ms. Warnes if they have any questions. It is not too late to take part in this unique and rewarding experience. Ms. Warnes hopes to see the team grow and one day help other schools, such as Incarnate Word and Duchesne, form their own robotics teams.

“It would be an opportunity for us to do what Lamar is doing for us. They’re teaching us and then we can expand and help other schools,”

Ms. Warnes, Robotics Team sponsor

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Jake is a Senior at St. Thomas High School. He has been involved in many activities during his high school career, including holding the prestigious title of Senior Associate in the Business Club. In his free time he enjoys Arts and Crafts and watching reruns of the Amanda Show. After school you can probably catch him going home because he is tired and wants to take a nap.

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