Before this school year, Frederick High School had no robotics team. Students interested in programming and engineering a bot would have to travel to another school. But a group of students took the leap to start their own club.
“I really didn’t know what the FIRST Robotics Club really was but I knew I wanted to get into robotics. I went to a teacher that once helped a robotics team and I asked her about if there’s a possibility we could do a robotics club here,” explained Frederick High School student, Jaxen Farrell.
Farrell, along with two other students, went on the hunt for a mentor and founded the Cadet Robotics Club.
Other members interested in stem joined to help program and conceptualize a robot from just kit of parts.
“We were given five weeks to build a competitive robot which would compete between many, many other schools. We had people that worked on mechanical, electrical design and it was just amazing to see those people work together and build something tangible,” fellow founding member, Alex Plisov said.
The club has competed at three competitions, sweeping up awards even in their rookie debut.
“We had a lot of judges come up to us and tell us ‘Wow this is absolutely amazing that you guys were able to build your robot in the time that was given to you and actually compete and score relatively well compared to all the other teams that have experience,” Plisov explained.
And a recent award for rookie all star landed them a spot to compete at the 2019 FIRST World Championship in Detroit.
“It’s really unreal to see we had nothing last year, no robotics team at Frederick High School and we’re able to go to worlds this year as a rookie team. It’s really unreal and I didn’t think we’d be able to do that,” Farrell said.
The club says one of the biggest hurdles was funding thousands of dollars for the robotic parts, travel, and access to competition, but they are heading to Detroit on April 24 to compete.