Robotics partners with Deal Middle School

Ruth Schmidt, Contributor

Of the clubs that Jackson-Reed has to offer, the Robotics Team is one of the most popular. This team is constantly working to design, build, and program robots for competition.

According to junior Samantha Gordon, robotics team member and assistant captain, the team is currently building a smaller, simpler robot to compete in the FIRST Tech challenge, a more minor competition leading up to the international FIRST Robotics Competition. This year will be different for Jackson-Reed robotics team members–they are partnering with 20 members from Alice Deal Middle School’s robotics team. 

The Deal students come every Monday and Wednesday from 3:30 to 5 pm.They use the Jackson-Reed robotics space when they want to build something, but if not, they are in a separate classroom. 

According to Jackson-Reed Robotics team captain senior Maxwell Stone, this change only has a minor impact on his team. 

 “We’re still operating the same way. We just lend some people to their team to mentor students and help them with the machines,” said Stone.

This causes the robotics team to face hurdles such as broken equipment and limited space.

“I think it’s a little difficult because we have to share a lab with them,” Gordon said. “It’s already kind of small and there is some broken equipment. Still, it’s good to help the kids and get them involved in robotics at a younger age,” Stone agreed.

There is a feeling of excitement among Jackson-Reed Robotics members as they watch–and guide–the next generation of Tiger engineers. This partnership will help contribute to growing a new generation of experienced robotics team members.

“It would be really great to have the students at that age get some experience before coming to our team,” said Stone. “So far, it’s going great. We have a robot in process on our team, they have a robot in process on theirs. As far as I know, they’ve been enjoying the help they’re getting–and we enjoy having them around.” •