The Computer Science & Robotics club will compete in the FIRST Steamworks Robotics Competition today in Irving, Texas.

Junior Elizabeth Compean said it’s “pretty cool” being a girl on the team.

“Especially since they first told us girls weren’t really going to do much, but now our president is a girl,” Compean said.

The team’s robot, according to competition rules, should pick up balls, shoot them up in the air, and put gears into place.

The robot must measure within 36 inches in height and 24 inches in length, and can only weigh up to 120 pounds.


The team had to read a 128 page rule book. They weren’t allowed to start working on the robot until they read all of it, Compean said.

The team meets Monday through Wednesday and on Saturdays.

Junior Karen Garcia said being a girl on the team is “very interesting.”

“At times we get underestimated on what we can and can’t do,” Garcia said. “It is usually unintended being done, but it happens. But it’s also nice since our team knows us very well now and they know we can do just as much as a guy and more.”

Garcia said the most difficult part of the robot for her was the gear holder because it was hard figuring out how they were going to get all the pieces together and how to cut the material.

The easiest part to build was the shooter, since they had to figure out which angle to shoot, how to place the wheel, and putting it together.

Garcia said this is her first year building and working with robotics, and she has always watched robotic based movies and was interested in learning about it.

Some engineers from General Motors looked at their robot and gave them ideas to help program the robot. They met the engineers manager, and he said he really liked them and might even give them a tour of the factory, Compean said.

“GM was a huge help to us, we had mentors to help us with the design process and building,” Garcia said.

Compean said she has been building robots since last year and her interest in robots began after she saw the movie “WALL-E” in 2008.

The team will be in an alliance with two other teams, but those are chosen at random.

There is a lot of rules on what can and can’t be done. Any wrong move and they risk getting disqualified.

Sophomore Kendall Hayes said they are going to be playing on a field, and are going to have to score points either through shooting balls or by dropping off gears.

Hayes said he became interested in robots two years ago, and just started building them this year.

“I’m kind of just the guy that does the stuff when everybody else tells me what to do,” Hayes said.

The higher the team places in the competition, the more scholarship offers they will receive from different schools.

Maria Perez

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