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The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Robotics Heads to State


A group of high school students are on their feet, cheering, as they watch a piece of metal do tricks in the middle of a room. They are standing in an enormous gym, with huge pieces of equipment that only they can name and operate. From the brains of teenagers, robots are constructed through meticulous work, preparation and planning.

The Tompkins Robotics team dominated this year in their tournaments and are once again headed to the state tournament. Junior Ally Groves is one of the team members who is accompanying the program to state.

“My favorite part of Robotics is seeing the progress of building the robot and being a part of building it,” said Groves.

Robotics has three levels of serious competition. The team competes in district, then has the chance to advance to state and after that can compete in worlds. This year, the state competition is in Austin, Texas, from April 4 to April 6.

A typical Robotics tournament consists of a square center in the middle of a gym with bleachers lining the sides, for the observers. Five select members of the team are in charge of operating the robot while it is in competition. Several different schools have robots that go into the square and compete in a game in which the robots are competing against each other. Sometimes schools join together and create an alliance during the competition. After qualifying competitions, the top eight teams get to choose other teams to join their alliance for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final competitions. The Tompkins Robotics team is currently hoping to increase their points by modifying their robot to do what is called a hab climb, scaling a wall.

“To prepare for state our build team is making improvements to our robot to try to get to the top leader board,” said Groves. “And our marketing team is doing a lot for state as well, such as perfecting interviews and pumping up our spirit.”

While the team had been perfecting their inventions all year, they continued to make improvements to their robot until the state tournament. The Tompkins Robotics program is made up of different groups of people, who have different responsibilities in the production of a successful robot. There are those who work directly on the technology of the robot and others who work on marketing, and operating the device.

“Tompkins robotics is a great experience for those interested in the STEM field. Many believe robotics is just building a robot, but it is much more,” said Groves. “The people in robotics are always welcoming and excited in either working on the robot or marketing.”

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