A legacy in technology

Emma Shimak, A&E Writer

Throughout the United States there are around 132,500 robotics engineers. The market value and number of robots are both slowly starting to incerease each year. They are a big staple in making multiple products each day. In our community, elementary, middle and high schools have robotics teams for people who are interested in building them or hold an interest in science, math and technology. The goal of the club is to create a robot that can complete a task that a human can do. Throughout the fall and winter, Xavier High School’s robotics team, the Xcentrics competed in multiple competitions. The team consisted of 19 members, with four of them being seniors, Jeffery Kaas, Kadin Callanan, Isaac Stadelmann, and Greg Welch. There are four different roles within the team: Hardware, Software, Outreach and Business. The team is split up among the different sections. Kaas led the Business and Outreach along side Junior Sarah Feller a section that tries to reach out to young kids to inform them about getting involved in robotics and stem. Callanan is head of Hardware, and Stadelmann for Software. The season started off with a large amount of time put aside to design and build the robot. Practice was twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 pm- 4:30 pm. Building a robot takes time but, with a good team and having achievable goals, a functioning robot can be built. “I have spent 5 years apart of FTC and plan to continue as a mentor for local teams 5143, 7130, and 6499. My advice is to plan precisely, fail fast, and expect success,” Callanan said. The team would not exist without the coach, Stacy Mickelson, a math teacher at Xavier who left for maternity leave right before their last competition. While she was preparing to leave, she was still helping the team by answering questions, giving them tips and more. Heather Feller, a science teacher from Regis Middle School, took Mickelson’s place as coach for the Coralville competition. Throughout the seniors four years, they won multiple awards. Their freshman year, they made it to the world championships by advancing in the finals of the Iowa Championship. They also won the design award. Their most recent accomplishment was on February 20 at the yearly First Tech Challenge in Coralville ,where the Xcentrics made Xavier history by receiving the control award at the state championship level. Kaas comments on his years he has spent on FTC, “I have been in Robotics for 6 years now in the FTC program, 2 years at Trinity Lutheran, and all 4 here at Xavier. My most definite favorite memory would be advancing to the world championships in Detroit my freshman year. It was such a huge event, and it was amazing to participate in that 128-team championship,” Kaas said. Even with the hardships and the failed attempts, the team has risen up to the challenges. The Xavier community should attend their competitions next school year to support the team and see their hard work in action.