MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - The Haslett Robotics club has had a very successful season so far.
After their two competitions in January, the teams Flying Phantoms and Robots Rule have already managed to secure spots in the world championship with their aerial drones.
Heading to Traverse City for their last competition of the season before worlds, Conor Wombolt, Niklas Celeski, Roman Gay, and Jake Acker are prepared to put their skills to the test. All four team members attend Haslett Middle School but have been competing against high schoolers this season.
Conor and Niklas are on team Flying Phantoms and Roman and Jake make up team Robots Rule. Led by head coach Robin Celeski, the club plans to take this next competition as a test run for worlds.
Celeski said, “We are in a really good position because both of our teams already have world spots. So for this competition we can just enjoy ourselves, and we are going to focus on new skills and things we haven’t been able to perfect before, and see how that works.”
The Flying Phantoms and Robots Rule practice every week on a 28’ by 28’ practice field similar to the one they will encounter at competitions. Each team competes with aerial drones that they have worked on and programmed to make competition ready.
Flying Phantoms member Conor said, “This is actually the tenth prototype of the 3-D printed guards. We add a rubber gel and it makes the guards durable so we don’t have to keep 3-D printing.”
Along with the drone course, teams are judged on member’s engineering journals and an interview process. The hardwork and dedication these students from Haslett Middle School have put into the Robotics Club have allowed them to win against high school teams.
The Robotics Club will head to Dallas, Texas for the World Championship in May. This will be the teams first time attending and they are excited to see what the event will consist of.
Niklas, Flying Phantoms team member said, “We want to try to do our best to succeed, and get back to worlds again. Then we will know how it works better.”
The team members discussed how they got started with robotics and what recommendations they would make to others looking to get started with robotics.
Roman from team Robots Rule said, “I recommend starting with VEX IQ. it is the fundamentals and basics of what to do and what not to do, and then work up from there.”
Robots Rule and Flying Phantoms have come a long way and persevered through unforeseen obstacles. They have learned about programming, teamwork, and problem solving all while winning several awards.
Jake from team Robots Rule said, “Even though we’re going against high schoolers, this shows that middle schoolers can beat high schoolers, in many ways.”
To follow the Haslett Robotics Club’s journey as they head to their next competition and the World championship visit the website below.
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