FIRST robotics team’s novel idea comes to Gull Lake

Members of the robotics team, Sean Kuhse, left, works on programming the robot with Hayden Taylor, right, while Lukas Marklin takes a break. Gull Lake High School will host the FIRST Robotics District Competition . Over 1,ooo spectators are expected with competing on Friday, March 2. Opening ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. and awards ceremony Saturday, March 3rd at 5 p.m. Photo by Luke VanDeWeert

Around 1989, a man named Dean Kamen noticed that high school students think that it’s easier to become a professional athlete or celebrity than an engineer. To show otherwise, he came up with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a robotics competition that helps students find an interest in science, technology and business.

Now, in 2012, Gull Lake High School has formed a FIRST robotics team.

Fortunately, students don’t need to know everything about the field. There are several teams within the team.

“There’s a build team, a programming team, an electronics team and a marketing team,” said coach Hayden Taylor, who is one of a few adults helping the team with the robot.

Each team looks at a certain aspect of the robot. Build, programming and electronics teams all work on the robot’s functionality, while marketing tries to get cash for parts in case what FIRST provides doesn’t work.

However, the business team needs more participants.

“We need some kids interested in sales and marketing,” said Ken Ball, the marketing mentor. “We’ll welcome anyone who wants to come in and learn about that area.”

The team meets most Monday evenings and Saturday mornings at 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. respectively at Springfield Plumbing and Supply. Gull Lake is also hosting a competition on March 2 and 3 at the high school gym.


By Luke VanDeWeert

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