robotics_120Started this fall by senior Andrew Parkes, the Lansing High School Robotics Club secured donations from several area industries including Advanced Design Consulting, Borg Warner Morse TEC, Cargill, the Corporate Development Committee of LCSD and Kionix.

The club traveled to two qualifying matches hoping to earn advancement to the Hudson Valley, NY Regional Championship to be held Sunday, February 16th at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY.  At the second Qualifying Match, the team not only qualified but won the Judges Award (given to the team that scored well in all areas and the judges felt distinguished themselves), and were finalists for the Control Award for programming and sensor use.  The team has worked almost daily since September, often putting in three to four hours of work a day after school.


Team members include advisor Andrea Schneider, coach Andrew Parkes, Drivers John Schafer and Matt Robinson as well as Shannon Bronson, Sophie Pitti-Daly, Thomas Galvin, Skye Richardson, Dan Stoyell, Jim Stoyell and Emily Schweitzer.

According to the web site, "the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)  is designed for students in grades 7-12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.

robot_parksAndrew Parkes telling the Board of Education about the Lansing Robotics Club on January 13

Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.  Students get to:

  • Design, build, and program robots,
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts,
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills,
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments,
  • Earn a place in the World Championship, and
  • Qualify for over $13 million in college scholarships"