This article was written by Avanthika Suryadevara and Manavi Vajhallya of the Andover High School Robotics Club. The club is hosting GEARS from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Andover High School.
The Andover Robotics Club (ARC) at Andover High School is gearing up for a new season. ARC consists of three teams– all-girls team 10331 ARC Hailstorm, and co-ed teams 4410 ARC Lightning and 5273 ARC Thunder. The three teams compete in First Tech Challenge (FTC), an internationally recognized robotics organization, and after a successful season last year, they are excited to begin their new season.
ARC has much planned for this upcoming season. The teams have already started to brainstorm and design robots for this year’s FTC challenge, titled POWERPLAY, and are aiming to qualify for the State Championships in March.
Aside from competitions, the robotics club strives to reach out to the community and spread their love for robotics and STEAM to the town’s youth. Over the past summer, members developed and taught an original robotics curriculum to middle schoolers at the Cormier Youth Center. On October 1st, they hosted their first Girls in Engineering and Robotics Symposium (GEARS), which was a chance for FTC participants in gender minorities to meet and learn from experts in the engineering and robotics fields. Later in the season, they will be hosting four qualifiers at AHS on January 21st, January 22nd, February 11th, and February 12th, with over 80 teams from across the state attending. Additional plans for this year include a STEAM fair where professionals in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics are invited to introduce middle and high schoolers to various STEAM-related fields.
During the 2021-2022 season, ARC had many accomplishments. All three teams qualified for the MA FTC State Championships in Natick, where all three teams once again had an amazing competition, with Thunder reaching the Finalist Alliance and receiving the Innovate Award, and Hailstorm winning the 2nd place Control Award as well as the Promote Award.
They hosted two qualifiers in January for other Massachusetts FTC teams, with over 40 teams attending, and organized the second annual STEAM fair.
The club had an extremely successful 2021-2022 season and is looking forward to discovering what they can achieve this following year. ARC has always been about more than just the robots and competitions– it has also been about community, learning, and teamwork. These are values that continue to shine through in all of their efforts.
For more information about the club, please visit andoverrobotics.com or follow us on Instagram @andover_robotics or Twitter @andoverrobotics