Education

Union High School’s Robotics Team Wins Design Award

Photo: l to r : Nikolas Moreno, Michael Zmuda, Noah Dobson, John Arkerson, Hanson-Lee Harjono, and Luther Joseph Credits: Union High School

UNION, NJ-Union High School’s Robotics Team won the Design Award at the High Point Regional High School VEX Nothing But Net robotics competition held January 9. They also qualified for the state competition which will be held in February.  

Union’s team called “Insert Team Name Here” is coached by science teacher Mr. Michael Atzbi who teaches the engineering classes at Union High School. The team is in their second year of competition and the students are very excited by their success.

The team has been meeting and designing the robot named Scorpio Scoobert since the competition challenge details were announced last April. The students have different responsibilities; Luther Joseph is the head programmer, Michael Zmuda is the head driver, Noah Dobson is team leader and the rest of the students are in charge of various parts of construction and design.

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The robot is designed to pick up balls and launch them into a net scoring points for the team. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches on a twelve by twelve foot grid. The matches consist of a fifteen second autonomous period where the robot runs through a program coded by the students to score points with no driver input. This is then followed by a second period of one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play. 

In all the VEX Competitions, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, teams of students are tasked with designing and building a robot to play against other teams from around the world in a game-based engineering challenge. Classroom STEM concepts are put to the test on the playing field as students learn lifelong skills in teamwork, leadership, communications, and more.

Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state, and national levels; local champions go on to compete against the best in the world at VEX Worlds each April.

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