Heading to Worlds

The robotics team qualifies for the First Robotics World championships in Houston, Texas

Megan Schopp, Megan Schopp

Three team members who are part of the Titans Robotics team spend countless hours after school, working and practicing with their robot to help them prepare for the Worlds competition in Houston, Texas. Sophomore John Schopp has been on the First Robotics team for two years along with having many years of experience in Vex-IQ.

  “My favorite part is being very hands-on, building with the robot and then being able to operate what I helped build in competition,” Schopp said.

   Freshman Soren Gest has been very close friends with Schopp and Hartman since joining the robotics team at WSH. Gest has only been on the team for one year. He plays a very important role on the team as well as Schopp, being one of the main robot drivers.

  “My favorite part is driving the robot,” Gest said.

  Freshman Reese Hartman is on the robotics team with Schopp and Gest where they work together in practices. Hartman’s love for robotics began in middle school when she competed in the First Tech Challenge (FTC). She has continued by joining the First Robotics Competition in high school.

  “This is my first year in robotics and I’ve really been interested in [the first robotics]. I did FTC and I loved it, so I figured why not,” Hartman said.

  After qualifying to head to the World Championships in Houston, Texas, the robotics team has to prepare the robot and themselves for the upcoming competition, by fixing up issues they had at states so it won’t occur again at Worlds. 

  “We want to improve our autonomous to allow us to potentially score more points. We also added more ballast to the robot to hopefully stop us from tipping as much,” Schopp said.

  The platform of the game is made up of two alliances, each having three teams, that must strategize a plan before each game in order to optimize the highest score possible based on the capabilities of each robot. Coordinating with their teammates helps the drivers move fluently through the field to score points as fast as they can without getting in each other’s way.

  “Our main strategy is not having all the robots go different ways so we don’t have much congestion, so it’s a lot more efficient that way, and that should also help us at Worlds,” Gest said.

  Being a robot driver isn’t just a main role on the robotics team. As the robotics teams have human players, their roles are to put out more cones or cubes for their robots to grab and go score to gain more points. Hartman is one of them.

  “My favorite part about being a human player is that I’m a huge part of the strategy, like I have to be able to move super quick and just go, go, go and I did choose to be the human player and I did [so] because it sounded like a lot of fun, and it is because I love being on the field,” Hartman said.

  Hartman finds being at robotics is a happy place for her. Where she is able to have a relaxing environment that allows her to be able to have fun, doing something she loves outside of school.

  “My favorite part about being in robotics is all the people at robotics are just so much fun and it’s honestly just a break from my normal life because I get to do what I love. I can just kind of do it without having to deal with stuff like grades because it’s insane,” Hartman said.