The Wild Warbots, Westerville’s high school robotics team, recently received a $4,500 grant from American Electric Power. These funds will help the team purchase tools and materials to build a robot as well as pay the entrance fee for future competitions.
The Wild Warbots are a FIRST robotics team, one of thousands across the United States and Canada. This year, the team was comprised of 20 students from Westerville South, North, and Central high schools. Working with their coach Josh Branch and mentor Mark Jackson at Westerville Central High School, the students learned computer-aided design and programming as well as the workings of mechanical design, electrical systems, and building techniques. With these skills, the team members designed, built, and programmed their player-controlled robot over a six-week period.
The team and their robot earlier this year competed at the Buckeye Regional FIRST Robotics Competition held at Cleveland State University. For the competition, the students built and programmed a robot to complete the challenge that required it to maneuver a playing field, shoot Frisbees into targets, and climb a metal pyramid.
Visitors will be able to see the robot in action when the Westerville Wild Warbots host a robotics showcase at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 22, at Westerville Central High School. Middle and high school students, parents, and community members are invited to come learn about the team and celebrate the season. Visitors will have a chance to see the robot in action and drive it as well.
Along with math and science skills, the students also learn about business and management. To organize the team and its building efforts requires a great deal of project management skills. In addition, the Wild Warbots – who receive no school funds – are funded largely by grants, sponsorships, and other fundraising efforts that are lead by the students as well.
This year’s sponsors include JCPenney, the NASA Glenn Research Center Educational Programs Office, American Electric Power, Westerville Education Foundation, and the Bette Marschall Foundation.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Its mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.