Robotics Rocks!

Apopka High School has many valuable and interesting clubs waiting to show their talents. The Robotics club is full of amazing teams that are pushing through (and hoping to win!) this 2022 school year. Mr. Macwithey, the teacher and sponsor of the Robotics magnet and its teams, continues to lead many of these future engineers to victory. I interviewed 3 of Team 550X’s members: Jennifer Cifuentes, Liam Anderson, and Adam McAleer to give the rest of our student body some insight as to who they are and what they do.

Apopka’s robotics is full of innovation and is developing in the right direction.  Lately, the robotics teams have been broadcast across Apopka High’s social media due to their successes, and many of our students have been receiving some well-deserved recognition. On Team 550X there are many members, but Liam Anderson was one who stood out as he had a large part in creating their newest project: Jason. I asked Liam to explain what robotics was in his eyes, and he explained it as “a combination of teamwork and engineering in order to achieve a goal” relating this dynamic to a drawbridge needing a team in order to be successfully designed, created, and moved.

There are also many competitions that have just passed or are coming up. Recently, Team 550X ranked at the Timber Creek competition and Jennifer Cifuentes is looking forward for what’s to come. The team is planning on “improving its skills to hopefully qualify for World’s,” according to Jennifer, and she has a large part in making that happen. As her team’s Note Broker, they have opportunities to earn a Design award or Excellence award if the notebook and performance are well done. Another hands-on engineer on this team is Adam McAleer, and he has quite a few goals for his team to finish off the year strong. Adam hopes to “place highly in skills…and qualify for the World’s competition in May.” He also states that his team is really focusing on reevaluating their past mistakes, and is hoping to correct those to increase the chances of World’s.

The Blue and White staff also asked the interviewees their favorite projects that they’ve created. Jennifer Cifuentes said Jason (pictured above) is her favorite, and credits Liam and Adam for much of the technical work involved. Adam says his favorite project was done in competition this year, called Tipping Point. He explained that it was a bit complex, but there was a lot to do and a lot of strategy needed. Liam also says his favorite project was “ROV,” where the team did underwater robotics and created little submarines using cameras and other equipment.

Our robotics team members aren’t afraid of a challenge, and it shows in all of their successes.