By Krista Fog
The Walled Lake Consolidated Schools District’s For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics team, Team 308 – the Monsters, completed their season Saturday, April 12 the Michigan State Championship FIRST Robotics Competition at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. The team took 44th place out of 270 teams in Michigan.
“As a team, we have spent countless hours preparing for this year’s event,” said Walled Lake Western senior member Johnny Merehouyias. “Of my four years on the team, I believe that our overall performance and team successes were far superior this year than previous years.”
The Michigan State Championship is particularly important to FIRST because Michigan has more robotics teams than any other state in the US.
“As an engineer from Ford Motor Company, I have the job of mentoring the students,” said head coach Bill Clark. “With the majority of the auto industry workers in Michigan, high school involvement and student participation is larger than any other state in the nation, as well as country in the world.”
On the first Saturday in January, the challenge is revealed to the FIRST teams through an online webcast by NASA. This day is known as Kick-Off Day. From this day forward, teams are given six weeks to design, build and test a robot that must complete certain tasks to win a challenge.
“Robotics to me is much more than only a competition. Robotics has taught me to be passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum and has sparked my interest in Engineering as a life-long career,” said Merehouyias. “I would recommend anyone check out the robotics team; you surely will not be disappointed.”
Team 308 consists of all high schools in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District. Even though the season is over for this year, the Monsters will be starting fresh in January of 2015.