Northport High School members of the FIRST Robotics team are excited to be gearing up for the 2022 competition, which has been named “2022 RAPID REACT.” While the core of the competition – having students build industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game – remains the same, the theme changes each year. This year’s competition is focused on “reimagining the future of safe, high-speed travel and deliveries.”
NHS students gathered at the building on Saturday, January 8 to hear the reveal of this year’s theme. Immediately they began planning and considering ideas for how to bring their robot visions to life.
Any student in the school can join the team regardless of experience; however, they must commit to a rigorous six-week schedule with both evening and Saturday work sessions. The club has three faculty advisors – Ed Moloney, Bill Claps and Greg Robinson – who support the students along with the Booster Club and community mentors. Approximately 50 students joined the club this year with about 30 working together at any given time.
To start, students receive a chassis which helps them kick start their robot and creativity takes over from there. The students work in groups on various aspects of the project, from building the chassis to working on game components and even building a mock field to practice for competition.
“First, we really digest the entire game, every aspect of it, and come up with a strategy,” said advisor and technology teacher Bill Claps. “Right away, the kids were thinking about the game play.”
The students’ hard work will hopefully pay off during the competition featuring over 40 teams from across Long Island. The competition is currently scheduled to take place this March at Hofstra University.