With the new school year now in full swing, after-school activities like clubs and sports are starting again. The school offers so many different clubs that sometimes certain clubs can be overlooked by students, or written off before being given a chance. The Oceanside Robotics Club is often one of them.
A lot of students know the club exists but don’t give it a chance and quickly stereotype it with being nerdy or too difficult, but this is far from being true. The robotics club offers a wide range of activities to fit everyone’s interests, including engineering, art, teamwork, and competition. Here you can learn to build and program a robot that at the end of the year is entered into a competition in which you compete against other high schools from across the world. If the building side of the club isn’t for you then you can help organize club events like bake sales and gaming tournaments to raise money, or even help design advertisements and banners to be displayed at the competition.
The robotics competition is one of the highlights of the year. The FIRST Robotics company provides a theme for the contest at the beginning of the year, and each team has a few months to assemble a robot to compete in the games. Last years theme was a medieval battle in which each team had to construct a robot that were placed on a field with four robots to each team. The robots had to attempt to score the most points by catapulting a ball into a goal, defending, clearing obstacles, or scale a tower. It created a very competitive and challenging competition, and for a sports fan like me it combined two things I loved.
The club also introduces you to new people and helps create friendships. My junior year was my first year being involved with the club, and two of my friends had recruited me. I knew a lot of the people in the club, but not that well. As the year progressed I got to know everyone, and by the time the competition rolled around it felt like I was part of a family. It gave me the chance to befriend people I never expected to get to know. One day two of us were tasked with disassembling the previous year’s robot for extra parts, and I was partnered with a girl I had known since elementary school but had never really gotten to know. We ended up having a great time, and continued to get closer over the course of the season. Today she is one of my closest friends.
Another great thing about the club is its supervisors, Mr. Sheinkopf and Mrs. Kelly. They are both passionate about the club and are always dedicated to making it successful. They provide guidance but also treat the members with respect, and are always looking for new ways to improve the club and make sure everyone’s voice is heard. They are approachable in a way that helps place the members of the club at ease , which helps build a more of a team atmosphere and teach members new things.
It is now my senior year, and while I look forward to college, Robotics is one of the things I’ll miss the most. So that’s why I look forward to making this year even better than the last. This year I am in an officer position for the first time and I’m excited to have the opportunity to build upon this already great club, and I hope that you’ll be there to join us.