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Robotics Team Leaders Gear Up For the 2018 Season

Come support Triple Helix at Heritage High School on November 4th.

Genome Iota successfully competed in several competitions in 2017. In January 2018, the robotics team will begin designing their robot for the new competition season.

Genome Iota successfully competed in several competitions in 2017. In January 2018, the robotics team will begin designing their robot for the new competition season.

Glenna Gomez, Staff Writer

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“With 10 seconds left in the match, Triple Helix goes for the climb after successfully starting all 4 rotors AND gaining 20 points from fuel.. they extend their wall and attempt to latch onto the rope.. they’ve got the rope and start climbing fast, and they’ve done it! Triple Helix has achieved the climb, giving their alliance the win!”

Nothing is more exhilarating than building something and seeing it come to life. Being on the FIRST robotics team at Menchville gives you this opportunity. Over the course of six weeks, students design and build a robot that can complete a set of specified tasks in order to compete against other high school teams. Menchville High School’s robotics team, Triple Helix, just celebrated their 10th anniversary, and competed in last year’s game FIRST Steamworks, getting as far the semi-finals in their division at the World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

Some of the many opportunities that team 2363 (Triple Helix) has to offer students are problem-solving skills in a hands-on environment and learning skills such as coding, or electrical and mechanical design. Different subteams are set in place for people with different interests. Anyone with an aptitude for learning has a place in Triple Helix. Students also have the chance to work with experienced mentors, such as head coach Nate Laverdure, who is an engineer at Jefferson Lab. Senior co-captain Sadie Gomez said, “One of the most valuable skills that I have learned in my time on 2363 is talking to people. I learned how to talk to people from an authoritative position yet still as equals, and also how to communicate professionally. I know that it will be beneficial in my future college experience and career.” Gomez also mentioned how working with her peers, but still in a leadership position, helped her push people to step out of their comfort zones and accomplish things that they might not be able to achieve on their own.

Triple Helix also has a leadership team made up of students and adults. Two co-captains are elected at the end of each school year, a junior and a senior. Dustin Best and Gomez are this year’s co-captains, and they work with the mentors to resolve issues on the team and make executive decisions (for example, deciding which competitions the team will compete in). A safety captain is elected and works alongside the two co-captains to make sure the team has a safe environment. Serving on this committee provides students with important leadership skills that will benefit them in their progressive years.

Gomez said she wanted to pursue a leadership position on the team, because, “I saw issues on the team that I wanted to improve on, and I had different ideas for the future of Triple Helix.” Some of her ideas include instructional workshops for students to better approach outreach events and a more focused method of training new team members. She will be working with other students to accomplish her visions during the off-season and then the following build season. The official build season starts in January, when the competition game is revealed, and students must then put in longer hours as more meetings are added during the week.

Come support Triple Helix at Heritage High School on November 4th, where they will be co-hosting and competing in the 2017 Rumble in the Roads. They will be playing against other FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) teams in the Hampton Roads area. Stop by any time during the day to see our award-winning robot from the 2017 season.

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