Meet the Somerville High School FIRST Robotics Competition team: the Highlanders
The Somerville High School Robotics Team is working out of Artisan’s Asylum this winter. This group of students and mentors is building a robot to participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Their team, the Highlanders started in 2015 when a combination of students and teachers came together to expand past the high school curriculum, to pursue their robot building passion. This is their fifth year participating.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) uses a robot challenge to build STEM skills and interests. FIRST Robotics Competition has a unique culture, built around two values. “Gracious Professionalism” embracing the competition inherent in the program, but rejecting negativity and destructive robots. The competition encourages respect and support between teams. “Coopertition” emphasizes that teams can cooperate and compete at the same time. Teams are given a standard set of basic parts, but they are encouraged to design and make specialized parts, making the partnership with A2 an ideal arrangement.
The team’s first competition will be in Bridgewater, March 6-8, and the second competition is in Revere March 27-29. The team is hoping to build an amazing robot and earn spots in the regional and world championships in April.
We are incredibly proud to offer the Highlanders space and tools to support their passion for innovation. This year the team has been able to produce more prototypes, improving their design due to access to Artisan’s facilities. They were able to create a full CAD model of their robot, thanks to the easy access to computers and software, and to build a ‘button board’ to help operate the robot during matches, due to easy access to our laser cutters. Perhaps the most valuable lesson and outcome from this partnership that these young makers will enjoy beyond the FIRST competition, is learning (with the help and supervision of our highly skilled maker community) how to use the necessary equipment to materialize their ideas and vision. Artisan’s community thrives on knowledge and skill sharing, and we are excited to see what these young makers will be creating and inventing in their journeys.