Gibson Ek Hosting Regional Robotics Match


Photo by E.J. Harrell

Sam Nelson and Mason Bice work on the team robot with a mentor after school.

This year and for the first time, the Gibson Ek robotics team is hosting the FIRST Tech Challenge league competition, with the first matches on Nov. 3.

Team leader Evon Mahesh is really excited to host this year because “not a lot of people know us.” Several teams from the region are expected to visit Gibson Ek to compete. Evon said they are still figuring out how to fit all so many people in one space.

Hosting means that Gibson Ek’s robotics team has to create a playing field out of foam mats, and tape off two sides for the different teams. They also have to set the playing field up the right way. The team also has to show the parents and other students where to go.

This year’s challenge requires the teams to pre-program their robots to recognize different markers. They also have to place a team marker in the taped off square.

There is also a driving period; this year sophomore Noah Searles is the driver. Noah has to figure out how to collect as many gold cubes and silver spheres as possible. Each gold cube placed into an “alliance depot,”  which is a taped off square in the corner of the mat. If they get the cube into the the taped off square they win two points. They could also win points by placing the silver spheres in the “silver cargo hold” witch will win five points for their alliance. In the last 30 seconds of the driver period, they can score extra points.

FIRST Robotics provides more rules of the competitions in a YouTube video.

Team mentor Austin Searles is excited for this match because they do not have to drive to it this year. “The diversity and the team comes through together even though there are a lot of personalities,” he said.

Junior Sam Nelson, who is new to the team this year, likes being on the team for the bad puns, and she also enjoys talking and prototyping with everyone. She said: “Everyone should come!”