It can glide across the floor, go up and down, spin and more, all while being controlled by a re-programmed smartphone and two modified video game controllers. It’s the creation of Frederick High School’s 8866 Cybernetics robotics team.
“We’re anxious and excited,” Frederick High School senior Kaitlyn Schrick said.
Schrick, along with her teammates and teacher, is taking part in the First Championship in Houston, in first place in the world robotics competition.
Schrick said her siblings got her involved in the hobby.
“My brothers are mechanics. My dad was actually getting his degree in engineering. So, I’ve always had a little bit of that in my life,” Schrick said.
The robotics program at Frederick High School is relatively new. Formed only seven years ago, it was quite small but not for long.
“We’ve had 65 people on a waiting list to get into the robotics clubs,” robotics teacher Tom Hensley said. “When I first started five years ago, we had five kids and one team. Now, we’re up to two teams.
“We had parents calling the school saying: ‘I want my kid robotics next year,’ after we qualified for worlds,” Schrick said.
“We’ve come a long way really fast,” Frederick High School senior Malachi Newton said.
Newton said it’s hard to believe he and his teammates have made it to this level.
“We made it to state my freshman year, but I think we were like third from last or something like that,” Newton said.”
Besides the team’s hard work, Newton said they couldn’t have achieved winning states and getting to world’s without their teacher’s help.
“Mr. Hensley he spends a lot of time with us,” Newton said.
“He really pushes us to do well and not get discouraged from the schools who have access to everything, who have professional engineers and buses with labs in them,” Schrick said.
“I’ll have to take their word for that,” Hensley said. “You set these goals and to see them attain it, there’s really no words to describe it. It just got chills thinking about it,” Hensley said.
When it’s all over, win or lose, those chills will get even bigger for the team, knowing how far they’ve come.
First Championship goes from April 17—20.