The Shelburne Senior High Robotics Team will be among the competitors at the World Robofest Championship at Lawrence Technical University in Southfield, Michigan on May 17 and 18.
The team earned the right to advance after finishing third overall and placing first for the top public school team at the Acadia University Robotics Championship in February.
“They’ve been doing it for a number of years and it was the first time they’ve placed so they’re pretty excited,” said SRHS resource teacher Peter Himmelman who spearheads and coaches the afterschool robotics program for students in grades 4 to 9, and well as at the senior high level.
This year’s senior high team consists of two Grade 10, two Grade 11 and one Grade 12 student, including two international students. The challenge for all the teams that competed at Acadia was to design, build and program a robot that would operate on its own once the start button was pushed, completing the task of selecting the right combination of black and white blocks that represented binary numbers assigned to the team just prior to the competition.
“They had to preplan and program everything to get these robots to do these tasks,” said Himmelman. “They are not remote controlled.”
The team is now in the process of redesigning their robot to see if they can improve on their performance at Acadia.
The team will be doing some fundraisers in the coming weeks to help with expenses for travel to the world championships. “They’re doing some 50/50 draws in town, they’re selling cookies at the school for $2 a bag (delivery included) and calling them cookie-grams, and they’re talking about a bottle drive and a coffee house here at the school.”
The team will also be participating in a fundraiser at A1 Pizza on April 25. The Shelburne business is generously donating the proceeds from the days sales toward the trip. The team will be there to greet customers and answer questions.