Robot team a big success

Thousands of students cross the border this time every year — for a huge robotics championship that invites kids from all over the world. And it’s a tough competition — pitting teams of science and technology students against each other — after building a robot in just six weeks. But the team from one Hamilton high school exceeded all expectations.

Chuck is a robot created by St. Mary’s High School students in Hamilton. They had six weeks to make a robot that can throw and pass a yoga ball to score into a goal.

Andrea Hanita is a team member: “It was pretty amazing starting out with a plan and seeing it come to life I learned a lot about engineering and how to build stuff. I came here not knowing how to work a drill.”

About thirty students from St. Mary’s in Hamilton made the trip to St. Louis, Missouri Thursday to compete in its first Robotics World Championships.

Matt Ciprietti is the teacher/mentor: “The mission here, the organization FIRST refers to the acronym ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’. It was amazing, I mean just seeing the team come together each with a different sent of skills all learning from professional engineers, McMaster engineering students was incredible to watch for me as a teacher.”

St. Mary’s Makeshift Robotics team 4039 is a young team. They’ve only competed for 3 years but this year they made it to the semi-finals in their division.

Michael Meier is the team captain: “It completely exceeded my expectations. We ended up placing 10th in our entire division of 100 teams and we were the captain of the seventh seed alliance. No other 4000 numbered team has done that.”

Sarah Alderson is a team member: “It’s amazing. You get to meet people you never would have otherwise. I’ve made friends with people from the U.K., people in Israel, seeing all the different cultures and the different ways people do things.”

When it comes down to it, we are all wired differently, robot or not.