Building Success, One Bot at a Time

Robotics Club shines in competitions throughout the year
Submitted by Dana Phelps
Submitted by Dana Phelps

Though often associated with sports such as football and basketball, academics also take an edge in the world of competitions. The Robotics Club at Pinnacle High School (PHS) participated in competitions throughout the year, including the State Championship tournament earlier this semester, their biggest of the year. Competitions like these require preparation that those outside the club may find surprising. 

PHS math teacher Dana Phelps holds a passion for technical engineering. As the Robotics Club sponsor, she helps students take control of the reins in their club, supporting and igniting that same passion within them. 

“I really just sit back and let the students run things,” said Phelps.

Empowered to take the lead, students fully embrace their technical creativity when approaching competitions. Every competition has a game in which the club must create a robot based on a series of required tasks to address different parts of the robot such as coding and the motor.

“We divide the work for the club into groups for different aspects of the robot,” said Phelps.

All these areas of the robot need to be completed in a cohesive manner, so members divide the work into groups to ensure the precision of every detail. The PHS club built a competitive robot earning them one of the 48 spots for the Arizona State championship. The 48 schools got placed into 24 different teams, and things looked good for PHS in the early stages.

“We started off very strong,” said club member, senior Sam Myers. 

The PHS club originally ranked in the top five positions of the competition, but a malfunction in the robot hindered their strong start, which ultimately dropped the team down in the standings from the top five to 16th overall.

“It was disappointing to see the result we got from where we started,” said Myers.  

Despite the fall from the top, the club members still achieved much to feel accomplished about, from creating robots from scratch to placing as one of the best 16 teams in the state championship. The club members put plenty of hours into creating the best robot they could for this competition, and there and earned bragging rights for their accomplishment.

“We learn engineering and collaborative skills regardless of where we placed,” said Myers. 

Students looking for another activity, one with a technologically competitive edge, ought to consider joining the team next year. 

“You learn how to work well with others, understand technology, and become a better team player,” said club member, Senior Landon Stone.

Students learn a lot from fellow club members and the experience of fully coding and engineering a robot. By the end, the student engineers get to see the robot complete the tasks they trained it to do, which most find extremely rewarding.

 “Just join,  We have a lot of fun doing what we do,”  said Phelps. 

More to Discover