Robotics Comes Close to Nationals

Four Seaholm members of the Birmingham Robotics Team “Automation Nation.”  PHOTO / BERNIE SIMMS
Four Seaholm members of the Birmingham Robotics Team “Automation Nation.” PHOTO / BERNIE SIMMS

The Seaholm Robotics team’s 2013 run came to an end last weekend. The team finished 40 of 64 teams at the FIRST Robotics Competition at Eastern Michigan University, April 11 through 13.

 The team, which meets after school on Mondays through Thursdays, as well as Saturdays, has been working on this competition’s robot since the beginning of January.

 The year’s goal was to build a robot that could accomplish two things: To climb a pyramid-like structure, and launch Frisbees into a goal. There were one-point, two-point, and three-point goals. Making it to the top of the pyramid counted for five points.

 Seaholm was just one of the 64 teams at the competition. Their team consisted of about ten students from both Seaholm and Groves, and the competition had over 400 students participating in total.

 Though the team didn’t make it into Nationals, the members say that they still had a great time at States.

 “It’s awesome to have a chance to compete alongside the best of the best and to be appreciated for all the hard work we’ve done,” junior Olivia Miller said. “Of course it’s disappointing to not make it to Nationals but just thinking about how exciting it was making it to States, it’s really something to be proud of.”

 Tripp Bobrowski, a senior at Seaholm also shared Miller’s excitement about the experience.

 “It’s really cool to see all of the different solutions everyone came up with for this competition.” Bobrowski said. “Some of the people I have met are some of the smartest and brightest in not only the state, not only the country, but the entire world. To be on the same level with them is really amazing.”

 Other Seaholm students were also glad to have attended the States competition.

 “It was awesome,” said junior Zack Lapinski. “Really an amazing experience.”

 “It was fantastic,” sophomore Amanda Burcroff said. “It was cool to compete against teams who we knew would compete strongly at the National level.

 Bernie Simms, a teacher in Seaholm’s Engineering department as well as the team’s coach, was pleased with how the team performed.

 “I was pleased with how we finished,” Simms said. “We were up against the best in the state and we held our own pretty well.”

 Simms also believes that States were a great experience for the students who went.

 “It was a great opportunity for our team to compete against the best in the state,” Simms said. “We learned that we are able to compete at that level.

 Simms was also optimistic about the future of the team.

 “We want states to be our new normal,” Simms said. “And maybe next year, we can move on to Nationals.”

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