Under New Management
PVHS Robotics kicks off the year with its first meeting, and a promising future.
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The PVHS Robotics Club, Team Paradise 1165, had its first meeting on 17 August 2016. The meeting started off in the math classrooms, later moving into the former automotives classroom. All of this for member orientation, as well as insight into the club’s push for inclusivity and hands-on work.
The meeting started off as per usual with introducing the board and advisors. It was announced that the year is broken into first semester preseason and the six-week build season. According to veteran members, build season is a kind of “controlled chaos.” Upcoming events like the state robotics competition were announced as well as club business such as dues and attendance.
“Robotics is where persons with different interests can gather and work together,” said club advisor and PVHS teacher Tyson Karter. Whether a student’s strong suit is building, logic, programming, spirit, or community involvement, the robotics club advertised a place for them.
Club sponsor and math teacher Robert Kabrich said “It’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have,” which rang true throughout the tours. Electronics students learn to code the robot in Java as well as wiring, build must go through safety and machining training, and admin works with the community as well as mentoring young, aspiring STEM students. No matter the group, it is clear robotics is a commitment-based club.
Though the club is over thirteen years old, keeping members active has always been a problem. This year there were 69 meeting attendees, almost half were new. When asked about member retention, Robotics President, junior Brennan Kelly, said “we’re trying to get people involved with projects and trainings as early as we can.” Notably, there is OSHA 10 safety training and machine training lined up for the preseason.
“We’re just trying to make a new structure that’s going to hopefully succeed, my biggest goal is to make sure that it does,” Kelly remarked in an interview. The team added an extra position of Electronics Director last year, which sectioned the team off into thirds instead of in half. Along with new advisement positions, this system had been implemented in the hopes that it would withstand a larger membership.
Throughout the meeting, it was emphasized that the team is student-led and is only as strong as its members. The team had faced difficulties with reaching the six week build deadline in previous years. All sections needed to be staffed in order to reach deadlines and run smoothly.
The meeting wrapped up after two hours, which is average length for preseason. Though robotics is a sport for the mind rather than the body, it has a season schedule similar to any other sport. Determination and commitment is key. The President’s advice for aspiring members? “Get involved, stay involved.”