Sahuaro’s Robotics Club Makes State!


Nora Thompson, Cougart Editor

Sahuaro’s very own Robotics Club has won their most recent competition and qualified for the State Tournament, which is a huge deal considering it’s their first year of existence.

Mr. Davis (1st left), Camilla Ibarra, Devin Dafoe, Amanda Duncan, Bree Williams, Marlee Rainere 

The competition is comprised of one game – in order to be successful, the schools have to program their robots to do specific actions that help it win. The game changes every single school year; this year’s is called “starstruck” and it consists of two schools that form an alliance, against two other schools who are also trying to move star-shaped and cube-shaped pieces over a one foot wall. During the first 30 seconds, the robots have to be pre-programmed and move on their own, then once that passes, the teams can pick up their controllers and control them. The team that gets the most pieces onto the other side wins.

Sahuaro started out in 17th place, which was actually a mistake because a clerical error said Sahuaro had won a match that they really lost. The team was actually ranked 28th, but they didn’t find out until after they formed an alliance with the teams ranked #2 and #1; they were willing to team up with Sahuaro because Sahuaro had programmed their robot to have a “high hang” which is a move that guarantees 12 points. They won the tournament by staying out of the way of other schools and high hanging. Bree Williams says that the alliances wouldn’t have won a lot of their matches without Sahuaro’s help.

Sahuaro’s team (Marlee Raniere, Camilla Ibarra, Michael Rumsey, Amanda Duncan, Bree Williams, Devin Defoe) will not be making any drastic changes to their Robot before the state competition on March fourth at Embry Riddle University in Prescott. Bree Williams says though, “We are excited to learn and compete.” She would also like to  thank the Palo Verde Robotics team for all their help in getting them to state.

The club itself intends to continue onto next year since the rules for 2018’s game will be released in March and the construction process can begin at that point. The sponsors, Mr. Davis and Mr. Christian, state that it is an, “AIA club. just like sports, so there are local, state, and national levels of competition.”  They are hoping to have two, maybe three teams, to bring to competitions next year and encourage anyone who’s interested in next year’s club to come and talk to them.