SPRINGFIELD TWP. Springfield High School and Junior High teacher Robert Lane has wanted Springfield to host a robotics competition for years.
His wish finally came true as the school recently held its first robotics competition against Brady Middle School. Each school had five teams patriciate which was made up of two to three students per team.
Lane said there are 11 seventh and eighth-grade students in the robotics program this year, which meets after school to practice. He said the students began practicing in January in preparation for the competition. The goal is to program a robot to complete different missions on the board in a certain amount of time.
Some of the missions include collecting rocks and bringing them back to the base, raising a tower, raising solar panels and moving the satellite, just to name a few.
Students lose points if they have to grab their robot and bring it back to the starting point if something goes wrong. The missions can be done in any order and missions can be attempted multiple times.
Prior to the competition starting, students had a practice round and then three competition rounds with the highest score of the rounds being recorded. Lane said up to 100 points can be earned if all the missions are completed.
Springfield came out on top as students Geoffrey Bucksar and Joey Cramer won with a score of 75 out of a possible 100 points. David Feran and Isaac Davis came in second with a score of 67 and Ryan Beretics and Mitchel Davis came in third with a score of 65.
Currently, Lane teaches two levels of robotics, something he has been doing for five years.
Seventh grader Alexis Myers said she has always had an interest in science and robotics seemed like a good activity to get involved in after school. She said she also takes a computer tech course, which a portion of it is robotics, so she gained some experience from that.
Seventh-grader Sam Powell, who is good friends with Myers, said robotics is pretty fun and isn’t that hard
Both students agree they want to continue to be involved in robotics moving forward.
Lane said he got inspired to bring the program to Springfield after coaching his daughter’s robotics team for three years.
“I wanted to bring it to Springfield,” Lane said.
Lane, who grew up in Springfield, has been a teacher in the district for 25 years, so the township is important to him. He said there are a wide variety of different robotics competitions and he chose one that was financially practical to run.
“I enjoy when students succeed and are excited,” Lane said. “To see the joy on their faces and for them to be jumping up and down is what I want.”
Lane wants to see robotics recognized just as much as other sports and he wants families and community members to come and pack the stands for competitions. He also wants to see more students become involved in robotics and to be able to compete again other districts.