Robotics Growing at Christ School
Most experts agree that robots are going to be a ubiquitous part of daily life in the future. The only question is how soon.
Christ School is preparing boys for this mechanized world with not only its academic curriculum, but now student clubs. Made possible by a grant from Cyberkids Robotics, the Robotics Club has begun meeting for two hours every Monday night.
Faculty members Marcel Duhaime and Thom Flinders have been helping the boys combine math, science, and their imaginations into building robots which can solve problems. The most recent example was prototypes which could pick up wiffleballs and small cubes before placing them in a goal elevated off the ground.
"I always thought that this would be the perfect environment for this, that a whole bunch of kids would be interested," Duhaime said. "And they are into it, throwing around ideas at each other."
The Robotics Club is meant to be fun, but there is an element of competition, too. A short-term goal is that the Greenies will be able to enter the space-themed FIRST Tech Challenge game called "Rover Ruckus."
Flinders has enjoyed the trial-and-error aspect to the Robotics Club so far.
"There are no straight forward answers to the problem," he said. "The students are constantly failing and succeeding, and then repeating the process."
Boys are still welcome to join the Robotics Club which currently includes Cannon Flinders '23, Xander Barber '23, Sid Shah '22, Clarke MacDonald '21, Kilian Mittermeier '21, Patrick Wilds '21, William David '21, Ethan Park '23, Tommy Li '21, and Colson Etheridge '22.
Cannon and William have also worked on larger, more sophisticated robots with UNC Asheville's FIRST Robotics Competition Team 5854, called Glitch. The two Greenies and Glitch competed in last year's FIRST World Championship event held April 18-21 in Houston.