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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Freshmen Forge Futures with the Robotics Club at Summer Workshop

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  • Intrigued, Robotics Club FTC Director Jadon Lee ’24 watches the incoming freshmen assemble a basic drive train.

  • Focused, Archit Garg ’26 demonstrates how to drive an advanced FTC robot to the workshop attendees.

  • Excited, Robotics Club Head FTC Consultant Abraham Lira ’24 inspects a newly assembled chassis.

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From Monday, Aug. 7, to Wednesday, Aug. 9, the Westwood Robotics Club hosted a 3-day First Tech Challenge (FTC) preparation program for incoming freshmen to give them a head start for the upcoming season. FTC is one of two leagues that the Robotics Club competes in. 

“The whole hope behind the program was to motivate the incoming freshmen to explore and learn more about robotics on their own,” Robotics Club FTC Director Jadon Lee ‘24 said. 

For 2 hours each day, approximately 20 incoming freshmen worked on building basic iterations of FTC robots in order to give them a better idea of what to expect from the coming season. 

“In previous years, all of our rookie teams with new members [have] all been really confused and kind of lost on what to do,” Robotics Club Event Director Akaash Reddy ‘25 said. “Now they have a sense of direction on what their robot should be.” 

Split into teams of 6 to 7 freshmen, the prospective Robotics Club members followed a build guide created by members of the club. This streamlined the creative process and helped the freshmen learn the procedures of building a robot. Volunteers with expertise in each respective area of robotics were present to assist the freshmen in solving any problems that arose. 

“The main reason I wanted to help out was [because] helping [the freshmen] get this prior experience before the actual season starts can be very important,” Robotics Club Head FTC Consultant Abraham Lira ‘24 said. “It can be a very daunting task when someone gives you a challenge and they tell you to build a robot, and you don’t even know what [the] robot should look like.”

By the end of the program, every team had built a full chassis, with some teams even beginning to drive their robots and see their efforts come to fruition. 

“When I first joined, it wasn’t until maybe a week before [our first competition] that we had a robot that could actually move,” said Lee. “Being able to [achieve that] so early is really beneficial.” 

Due to the incoming freshmen having gained a solid foundation in the basics of engineering, the club’s leadership feels that the future is bright. 

“I believe we’re going to continue this annually. Ideally, [we would] scale it up or make it a bit longer with more people,” Reddy said. 

As the camp concluded, many of the freshmen stayed after the scheduled end time to continue working on their robots and honing their skills. Furthermore, many freshmen expressed interest in joining the club due to the workshop, as they felt inspired and energized to participate in the upcoming season. 

“I think what happened in this workshop was incredible,” Lira said. “So many of [the freshmen] got to build and understand the parts and how they worked.”

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About the Contributor
Avi Rajesh
Avi Rajesh, Reporter
Class of 2025
Hi! I've always loved photo and video editing, and I'm super excited to be a part of student press. A couple of my hobbies involve cooking, baking, and robotics. In my free time I love to listen to music, play the cello, and drink bubble tea!

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