Join the Robotics Club Today!


Fiona Green

The Robotics Club may not be part of the Tewksbury Memorial High School curriculum. However, that doesn’t stop this club from coming together. As well as the fact that the school allows the club to utilize one of its empty classrooms as their shop. The Robotics Club has roughly 11-15 students who take interest in the club each year. Scott Morris is the lead mentor of the group. He is a mechanical engineer who works at iRobot located in Bedford, Massachusetts. Science teacher Michael Hancock also volunteers his time to help with the club.

The Robotics Club is primarily a grant and donation-based club. Funding for the club itself really depends on what and how many grants and donations they apply for each year. Some companies do give out money, while others donate supplies/machinery. For example, the industrial supply company Grainger donated a milling machine, which has been helpful for the last two years to cut metal. Furthermore, there is a competition that takes place after launch day every year. Building for the competition starts January 8th, after Christmas break. This process lasts for roughly 90 days. In order to even be eligible to compete, teams have to pay a sum of about $5000. That’s where the donations from earlier on in the year come into play.

Aside from the annual robotics convention, they do still make multiple robots throughout the year. In fact, they make a new robot each season. Even so, it’s not that simple (as simple as creating a robot can be). They have rules. Adding onto that, these rules are different for every robot. In a way, the Robotics Club could be comparably similar to sports. The difference is instead of having a standard set of rules, they actually change each season. This leads to a new, completely different sets of guidelines.

I asked Mr. Hancock what a day in the Robotics Club looked like. He actually said, “it depends on the season,” meaning, because the rules change for the robot each season, the agenda becomes different. Whether they spend their time 3-D modeling for their parts, or students are learning how to drive old robots so they can train new pilots, a lot takes place in this club; so, you definitely want to have a creative mindset. Even then being a part of this team, it will force you to be creative. To get a better understanding of what putting together a robot looks like I talked to Eric Impink. According to the senior member of the club, “the robot consists of a kit chassis (we dictate the dimensions and specific components based on the season), a drive train, and many different components and motors. The goal of this robot varies year to year, whether it be ball launching or placement of a cube( among many other goals). Different tasks utilizing different ‘skills; of the bot are usually in the game, forcing teams to determine what will get them the most points and what they can actually build.” Creating a robot certainly takes lots of brainpower and hard work. That is why being a part of this robotics team can make it a fun and interesting experience.

In conclusion, the Robotics Club is definitely an intriguing group to look into. As of right now they are actually looking to expand their club. If what they do even remotely interests you, it’s super easy to start your journey to get involved. Just send Morris an email, or even stop by Hancock’s classroom located in room A111 on the first floor.