Suffern High School Robotics Team 7486 held their first open house as part of their community outreach initiative.
The event attracted teams and robots from Warwick, Ardsley and Woodlands.
The playing field was set up to demonstrate the tasks that the robots complete in order to score points. The teams demonstrated various point scoring capabilities in both autonomous and remote control mode including completely pulling their robot off the playing field by hanging from hooks, knocking minerals (blocks & balls) off pre-designated spots and being able to go over a barricade to scoop up minerals before depositing them in the receptacles in the center. Each team had a pit area where visitors could see the robots up close and ask questions of the different team members.
A number of hands-on stations were set up where attendees built chassis, learned about 3-D modeling, programming and documentation.
“It’s a fantastic program that allows children and opportunity to compete on a national level” said Angus McKenzie, Vice President of the SCSD Board, “My son has been involved with the program at the Challenger center and is looking forward to being part of the Robotics team when he gets to high school.”
Community Outreach is an important part of the FIRST Robotics program. Although the team has done demonstrations and workshops in the past, this is the first time they’ve planned and hosted an open house.
“It’s a fantastic program that allows children and opportunity to compete on a national level” said Suffern Central School District Vice President Angus McKenzie, “My son has been involved with the robotics program at the Challenger center and is looking forward to being part of the Robotics team when he gets to Suffern High School.”
Suffern High School Assistant Principal Dr. Trust kicked off the Open House with a few remarks, followed by a video which showed attendees what challenges this year’s robots must be able to complete.
“We had a great turnout including many young women who are interested in our robotics program” said Suffern Robotics Coach Diane Tuol, “Our students were thrilled by the support from the district; Dr. Trust kicked things off for us, Vice President of the Suffern Central School District board Angus Mckenzie, and board members Don Cairns & Matt Kerns.
When the public portion of the event was over, the robotics teams had lunch together followed by open discussions regarding processes, tips and advice. Experienced members of the Suffern team sat with members of the team from Woodlands High School for more than an hour and offered a great deal of insight into the process, competitions and judging.
“This event was a great opportunity for the community to experience robotics first hand” said senior and co-captain Ethan Holand, “It was also a great opportunity to communicate and share information and our knowledge with other teams who are new to the FIRST Tech Challenge.”
Based upon the success of their first open house, the robotics team is considering making this an annual event going forward.