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Robotics team in tournament over Spring Break

Published April 1, 2014

The Palo Alto High School's (((School)))robotics team's robot is putting the exercise ball into one of the goals to score a point. The robotics team is competing in a tournament over Spring Break. Photo by Chris Linn.

The Palo Alto High School robotics team’s robot puts the exercise ball into one of the goals to score a point. The robotics team is competing in a tournament over Spring Break. Photo by Chris Linn.

While everybody else is sleeping during Spring Break next week, the Palo Alto High School robotics team will be up early competing in its second robotics tournament of the year. The regional tournament will be held from next Thursday until next Saturday at San Jose State University.

The upcoming challenge for the tournament is called “Aerial Assist.” The goal for the team is for its robot to pick up two-foot diameter exercise balls and put them through goals. The more goals the robots gets, the more points that are scored, according to sophomore Claire Kokontis.

In this competition, there is more teamwork among the different schools  than usual, according to Kokontis.

“There’s a lot of teamwork among other teams from different schools which is different from past years,” Kokontis said. “Usually it’s individual teams who are trying to shoot points for their alliance but now we have to work together.”

Palo Alto High School is competing in the Silicon Valley Regional with over 50 teams, including Castilleja School, Gunn High School, Los Altos High School and many more.

The team had its first tournament a few weeks ago from March 7-9 in Madera in which the bumper of the team’s robot stopped working. The team was able to fix their robot by the end of the competition but the robot was not as effective, according Kokontis.

“We worked through it and the team worked really, really hard,” Kokontis said. “We have a working robot with our bumper now so we’re really excited for this coming competition.”

The robotics team meets every Thursday for a general meeting and during the weekends. To prepare for the competition, the team spent roughly six weeks building and perfecting the robot so it will be successful during the tournament.

As the competition draws closer, the team has high hopes and is looking forward to spending time together and bonding, according to Kokontis.

“I think we have a good chance of doing well,” Kokontis said. “Last competition there was a lot of team building and everybody got closer so this should be fun.”

For more information about the competition, click here.

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