Broken Drill Bits, Steel Armadillos Take on Competition

Lake Shore Robotics has finally kicked off with its first competition of the season on weekend of March 11th. The Shorian team, the “Broken Drill Bits”, had its debut event earlier this month the weekend of the 9th through the 11th. Also in attendance was the MMSTC team, “Steel Armadillos”. The competition was the first of two preliminary rounds to qualify for the state level. This competition was held at Centerline High School, and featured schools from around southeast Michigan. Overall, the Lake Shore team placed 20th out of the 38 competing teams, and the MMSTC team placing 6th.

This season is the first year for Lake Shore’s Robotics team. The club started earlier this fall, and has been preparing for the spring competitions. The club was started by the advisors; Ms. Miller, Ms. Todaro, and Mrs. Radlick. The club includes about 12 Shorians in all classes. The club has had the three month period to prepare for the competitions. Preparation usually involves primarily building, but teambuilding and cooperative exercises are key. The Drill Bits went 5-6-1 (five wins, six losses, and one draw), their tie match being against the MMSTC team. Placing a solid 20th, this marks a solid start for Lake Shores Robotics. Joshua Tennant, junior, shared his thoughts on their performance, saying, “We put in a lot of long hours, staying as late as 8 P.M. after school. I think we all played to our best potential.”

MMSTC, a veteran team, has been playing strong this competitive season. With a score of  5-2-1 and a ranking of 6th, The Steel Armadillos scrapped the competition. The MMSTC team focused heavily on preparation, paying off in their robots robust design. The Steel Armadillos split their efforts into four teams; programming, electronics, media, and building. Connor Zagumny, junior MMSTC attendee, talked about the collaborative process. “As a team, we collaborated really well. We worked to meet our goals. I was encouraged to reach my full potential.” MMSTC alumni helped and mentored the students as well. Although they did not directly participate, they imparted valuable knowledge to the engineers. With a solid outlook as well, the MMSTC team looks forward to their second competition.

With Lake Shore being a rookie team, they have plenty of room for development in the future seasons. The Lake Shore team received a ten thousand dollar grant, with most of that going to the mandatory robot kit and the rest going to appropriate tools. The coming years will only improve the resources they have to work with. The students as well reflect on their performance for the future. Tennant says, “We could have done more prep this season.” As for the veteran MMSTC team, Zagumny reflects on his team’s exceptional performance. “It was the best season our head coach has seen in a long time. We were all working and collaborating so fluently, we were three days ahead of schedule by the end of it, a great season so far.”

These teams have yet another competition in the district qualifications. The MMSTC team’s next competition will be held at Troy Athens High School on Friday, March 31st, and Saturday, April 1st. Lake Shore’s next event will take place at Marysville High School in Marysville, Michigan on Friday, April 7th, and Saturday, April 8th.