Robotics Team Ready For a Return to Competition

The Osbourn Robotics team had its first interest meeting on August 18th. This meeting was for freshmen and new students to learn more about the team. A lot of freshmen showed up, and they got to see some of the robots the team has built, and learn the basics of what they would be doing if they were to join the team. Its first official meeting was on September 7th, which was also during Back to School Night. Members of the team handed out flyers to people who came, in addition to driving the robot they built last year around the school.

The team builds a robot every year for a robotics competition. The Osbourn Robotics team has been a part of this competition for 14 years and has won two competitions in a row so far. Both wins happened recently, in the years 2019 and 2021. The team was unable to meet during the year 2020 due to COVID-19, but that didn’t seem to slow down the victory train they were on.

Despite the victory they managed to grab last year, the team’s head coach was not happy about COVID’s interruption.

“COVID made it so we couldn’t have a team during 2020, and it lowered attendance for the next year,” Mr. Ortega, the team’s head coach said.

Despite the low attendance last year, one of the newer attendees rose to the top quite quickly. Having two years of prior experience in robotics Jon, who did not want his last name on the website, who joined the team as a freshman, was extremely helpful with different types of tools.

“I was on the Mayfield team for a year and the Metz team for another year. I wasn’t able to join the second year due to COVID though. But I’ve now been on this team for a year,” Jon, a now sophomore, said.

The team has countless different things for members to do. They can work in multiple types of fields depending on their skill set and interests. Despite having several different skills, strengths, and weaknesses, the members of the team learn to work well with each other. They feel as if the team and the club are a safe space for them to have fun with something they enjoy.

“I’ve enjoyed being able to hang out with people who are interested in the same things as me. It also gives me some time to relax while I enjoy the company of my team. It’s fun to figure out I can solve problems I wouldn’t normally think I can solve. I am able to voice my ideas without worrying about judgment, even if they aren’t used,” senior Jeffrey Johnson said.

But students aren’t the only people supporting this program. Parents are able to come and help the team as well. Multiple parents come to meetings and help teach students to use tools, and help out where needed.

“I love watching the students grow. Many students don’t know how to build things or use tools, simple or complex, and it’s amazing to see them grow and become comfortable using those tools and equipment that they used to be afraid to use,” Steven Johnson, a parent mentor, said.

Joining the Robotics team can give members a lot of experience in multiple different engineering fields. They can learn to code, work with machines and tools, learn how to assemble pieces, and  how to work with wiring.

“I joined the Robotics Team because I want to learn the aspects of engineering. I’d also love to learn how to work with the electrical parts of it as well,” freshman Zander Andres said.

The Robotics Team is open to students of all grades and parent mentors are always needed. If you are interested in joining, make sure to head to the Makerspace in the West Wing to see what’s up!