Orefield student participates in robotics competition
Fifty teams of robotics enthusiasts recently filled the Emmaus High School cafeteria.
All were intent on seeing their robot creation in the winner’s circle.
Emmaus High School’s Steel Hornets Robotics team hosted the First (the name of the organizing nonprofit is First) Tech Challenge State Qualifier Robotics Competition.
Led by EHS chemistry and robotics instructor John Bradley, Connor Mack, Rachel Tobey, Gabriel Black, Laura Klopchin and Ian Zakos and many other Emmaus High School students provided the support staff for the competition.
Students, their parents and coaches came from as far away as Sharon, Mass., and across Pennsylvania.
Several teams were from New York, Delaware and New Jersey.
Three teams from the Lehigh Valley competed: Team “Le Pamplenousse” from Freedom High School, team “Panthera Robotica,” representing Saucon Valley High School, and a non-school affiliated team with members from several local districts.
Team “Igutech” team members came from Orefield Middle School, and Freedom and Liberty high schools.
“I’ve always had a knack for anything electronic and mechanical. I thought this would be a good extracurricular activity,” said Freedom High School Junior Steve Lantosh.
“We didn’t win overall, but we are super happy with our team. They have overcome many obstacles this season (their first season as a team) and have delivered a great first robot and shown great teamwork.”
First’s program offers more than $80 million in scholarship “from nearly 200 providers” according to the organization’s literature.
A First robotics competition, according to its promotional material, is “not a science fair driven by a teacher-selected list of the best and the brightest. Not about individuals so much as it is about teams.
“It is truly diverse. Minority and female participation is the norm. Many kids who aren’t necessarily doing well academically ... yet. They aren’t just geeks. They are athletes, musicians, and former dropouts, and they demonstrate talent they did know they had. It’s an experience that removes the reasons for not doing well.”