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Calling All Engineers

Mouritsen and robotics club members discuss how to build a robot for the B.E.S.T competition.

Mouritsen and robotics club members discuss how to build a robot for the B.E.S.T competition.

Photo By Nick Mayeux

Mouritsen and robotics club members discuss how to build a robot for the B.E.S.T competition.

Photo By Nick Mayeux

Photo By Nick Mayeux

Mouritsen and robotics club members discuss how to build a robot for the B.E.S.T competition.

Nick Mayeux, Reporter

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Math teacher Dan Mouritsen is taking the dreams of science fiction writers and making them a reality. He is the new sponsor of the robotics club. The robotics club is looking for any aspiring coders, engineers or those interested in robotics.

For students looking to join robotics, be prepared for lots of work. Just like a robot, the team building it must work as a well oiled machine. Some of the team will code or program the robot and others will build. There will be members in charge of keeping information handy, and others who will be taking pictures to create a slideshow or designing displays.

Throughout the year, the robotics club will participate in multiple high stakes competitions that could have them working for up to six weeks at a time. These events never have the same challenges. For example, during one competition a team brings in a robot and upgrades it. At other times, competitors must build a robot from scratch during the competition.

At first, attendees will learn about building robots. Next, they will make a robot for the competition called “Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology” or BEST. After BEST, Mouritsen will shift his focus from robots to catapults to prepare for the “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” or FIRST competition.

“In FIRST, at least this year, you have to create a robot that’ll act as a catapult or sling,” Mouritsen says. “Which is why between the BEST competition and the FIRST competition, we will be building catapults.”

Mouritsen aims to transform students into knowledgeable robotic engineers who will be career ready after graduation. Although the club may sound time consuming, it is worth it. With the growing popularity of robotics the engineers in this field are in high demand.

“There are companies right now who are hiring people who have skills in coding and maintaining robots,” Mouritsen says. “The job opportunities are there, it’s just getting people trained.”

There are currently only 14 students enrolled in robotics club. Mouritsen is hoping to expand the numbers in time for competitions. If interested, keep an eye out for recruitment information or contact Mouritsen for details.

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