Personal Narratives

I’m happy I joined the Robotics Club

April 6, 2022

By Gianfranco Martinez
Staff Writer

This year marks my first in the Robotics Club, and I am so happy I joined. Since I am interested in pursuing a career in data science or engineering, this is the perfect club for me.

The Robotics Club, which is advised by English teacher Mr. Belmont and chemistry teacher Mr. DeVito, meets on the third Wednesday of every month. 

Since robotics involves coding, I can use my abilities to contribute to the club’s projects, which relate to physics and making contraptions. These contraptions execute specific tasks that they are programmed to do.

Freshmen Gianfranco Martinez and Royce Thomas Fernandez (left to right) use the computer to edit code for the Lego Mindstorms project during the March 9 meeting of the Robotics Club.

February’s club meeting consisted of a lesson based on how Arduinos work. Arduinos are circuit boards that push volts to other parts that have relays, which are pieces that work with those volts of electricity by transferring them equally around the machine for which the boards are used. These control how much electricity has traveled through the machine.  

We have set up accounts for an app called Arduino: Create for Education that lets us connect to the circuit boards via Chromebook. The language it uses has some similarities to C++, a computer coding language used mostly for robotics. 

Currently, the club members and I have devised a plan to build a functioning drone using two circuit boards. Drones work by emitting a wifi signal, which one’s computer can pick up on and connect to the drone. 

Being a member of the Robotics Club has affected me in a very positive way. It has become a place where I can express myself, give my input and utilize my abilities in basic coding.

My current designs consist of an octagonal base with four servo motors connected to the Arduino Uno, which will all start up the drone’s propeller movements. Next, we need to work on how to control the drone and add a functioning webcam. The base is still a prototype, and I am thinking of changing the shape to something more functional.

Another project we are working on is using Lego Mindstorms, which are pieces of hardware integrated into plastic that can be coded and placed on a rover made from Legos. 

Being a member of the Robotics Club has affected me in a very positive way. It has become a place where I can express myself, give my input and utilize my abilities in basic coding. 

Robotics Club co-advisor Mr. DeVito assists sophomore Joshua Machcinski, freshman Bryce Pallathumadom, freshman Natalie Leon and sophomore Camille Echols (left to right) as they build a Lego Mindstorms rover at the Robotics Club meeting on March 9.

Clubs like these don’t get the attention that larger groups like the band and sports tend to receive, but they are both fun and educational. They can also be useful in preparing students for their dream careers in mechanical engineering and rocket science. 

Belmont and DeVito are knowledgeable advisors. They have an extensive comprehension of all the technical jargon one needs to understand robotics and computer programming. 

I have a love for the art of coding, and being in a club that revolves around that makes me feel as if I belong. At club meetings, I learn more about coding in addition to construction, technology and physics, and I encourage anyone with these interests to join the club as well.

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