Robotics Club Preps for Tower Take Over

Odyssey Larsen, Beat Investigator

Ten years ago upon his arrival to Sahuaro, Ben Davis took note of our elite athletics program, but he also noticed a severe lack of academic programs and clubs offered. Mr. Davis, a physics and engineering teacher here, naturally gravitated toward things that related to those topics. About 4 years ago, Davis was introduced to a program called VEX Robotics by a fellow teacher from Tanque Verde. He was drawn in; immediately he worked for and received a grant, and our booming robotics club was born.

This year the club is doing better than ever. With the most teams it has ever had, Mr. Davis, and co-coach, a computer science teacher, Mr. Christian, have high hopes for this year’s turn out. This year’s game is called Tower Takeover. The basic concept behind it is that our 4 teams will build and program their robots to pick up blocks. That sounds like a very simple task, but when pinned against other robots in a 15×15 “field”, it becomes harder when executed. The first to collect the most blocks wins that round. But where do the towers come into play? If your robot can put a colored block into the towers that are provided by the VEX program on the “field”, any block you have of that color in your team’s corner of the field will be worth double points. “This club is for anyone who is interested in coding, robotics, team building or just the general concept behind the program,” Mr Davis enthusiastically states. The club has grown every year since its initial start up. Last year, the robotics club had 3 teams and all three teams made it to State. Mr. Davis worked very hard and spoke with several people, including the famous Coach Botkin to get varsity letters for every team that makes it to State. “It is an AIA sport after all,” Mr. Davis remarked with a small chuckle. Availability for the club is closed for this year. But, Mr. Davis says he looks forward to all the new things that he will get to learn this year and in the years to come. He is very enthusiastic for this hands-on learning experience, not only for his students, but for himself and Mr. Christian. He looks forward to all the new people that they will meet next August when the club will be taking new members.