Building a robot is a huge challenge for everyone involved, and the robotics team at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School knows all too well what it takes to be involved in such a strenuous task. When they decided to make a group that would build a robot and compete in the FIRSTS Aerial Assist competition, both students and teachers were faced with a daunting task; something that no one in their school had ever done before. Their task proved to have many challenges along the way- some things went wrong and some things went right, but all adversities made the team stronger and their robot better.

When asked about some of the challenges that the team faced, Dan Gimon replied “I found the whole process somewhat overwhelming in a very satisfying way.” Being the first team at their school, resources were limited for this group: “The greatest challenge I believe we faced was choosing a design for our robot.  To incorporate all of the possible functions of the robot required to play the game was prohibitive, given that we are a rookie team with limited resources, parts, and experience.” Other students said that their time was limited due to their extra-curricular actives, transportation to and from school, part time jobs, and homework. When the team could get together, they spent hours working. On the night of the deadline, some students stayed right until the midnight deadline to finish their project. Although they had many challenges to overcome, the team pulled through and finished the robot just on time- packaging it and sending it just minutes before the deadline.

Yes, the robotics team at HHSS is a lot of work, it can be tiresome and stressful at times, but the experience that the students got from this team is irreplaceable. One of the students on the team promotes the group: “I hope that our school will be able to have a robotics team next year, and

[that] more students will want to get involved.  I would highly recommend joining a robotics team: it is a lot of fun, even though you don’t get a lot of free time for a couple weeks, or a lot of sleep [for that matter].”

So all in all, students were very happy with the experience they got by being a part of this unique robotics team. Another student reflects on his feelings about the upcoming competition, he says: “I am personally quite nervous in a good way. [My nerves] give me extra adrenaline to compete and show well.” We wish them the best of luck as students on the HHSS robotics team make their way to their big competition on the weekend of March 26th to 30th, we know that they will make TLDSB proud!!

For more information on the FIRSTS Aerial Assists Competition that the HHSS robotics team will be competing in, go to www.usfirst.org

By: Director’s Office Co-Op Student Elly Millington