Gears, Wires, and Worlds

The PHUHS Robotics club places 14th in their worlds competition.


Lizzy Mason, Staff Reporter

The Gears of Fire operate their robot all the way up to 14th place out of 128 other bots in The World Championship this year.

Since Sept. a team of seven seniors, in the PHU Robotics club have programmed, built, and documented their process of building a robot that has been to seven competitions this school year. Including the World Championship.

The team has put in close to 1000 hours putting together a robot to surpass other robots.

The place they took in the championship surprised the team. “We didn’t expect to do super well since we got in on a lottery. We definitely beat our own expectations,” senior Toni Earle-Randell said.

Earle-Randell the President of the robotics club and senior Peter Karras is the secretary. Both seniors have been in the club since their sophomore year in high school.

The team has set meetings twice a week but they take it even further.

“We have meetings every Tuesday and Friday and on weekends. Throughout the week we go to our mentor’s workshop and work for as long as he’ll let us,” Earle-Randell said.

Robotics may seem like a simple little club, but to the members, it’s much more than that.

“It’s not just building robots, you become a team, and there’s a lot of documentation,” Karras said.

The members also take away more than just programming skills. “I’m learning a lot of practical skills, and things I can use in the future. In robotics I can apply what I’ve learned in school, such as trigonometry,” Earle-Randell said.

After spending weeks building the perfect bot, they take to the field to complete tasks and objectives that are brand new each year.

“At competitions my favorite part is being the driver because it’s so exhilarating. It’s like scoring a goal on the field. It’s really intense, it seriously is just like a sport,” Karras said.

The club can be very rewarding as well. “I like the physical tinkering. Putting your work into something physical, and have it to show to people, is very rewarding,” Karras said.

And the club is for everyone.

“If you’re not into building and programming, there are still options for you,” Earle-Randell said.

The Robotics club is filled with passionate students who are very competitive with their robots, and it’s gotten them all the way to Worlds.