Transforming the Norm

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Transforming the Norm

AHC Transformers working hard on Fortuity, their robot

AHC Transformers working hard on Fortuity, their robot

AHC Transformers working hard on Fortuity, their robot

AHC Transformers working hard on Fortuity, their robot

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The AHC Transformers, the school’s FIRST Robotics team, is out to “Transform the Norm.” As an all-girls team in an activity dominated by majority-boys teams, these students worked hard all season to make it clear that robotics is for everyone.

AHC Transformers at the competition

The team is a group of LOTAs who learned “To create mechanical art that moves, operate a business, reach out of social media, create electrifying solutions, control movement through code, drive a robot, and think and act strategically,” explained the moderator, David Geiser.

Senior Fionna Long explained, “When the team started my sophomore year we knew nothing about mechanics, aside from the basics. The mentors on this team, Mr. Geiser and Mrs. Cain, have helped us to learn new skills and new systems.”

LOTAs at work with their robot.

The robotics season began on a Saturday in January and the teams had six weeks to build a robot from scratch that could compete in the year’s specific game for the competitions.

During March, the team brought their robot, which they named Fortuity, to two different competitions, one in Haymarket, Virginia, and the other in Owings Mill, Maryland. Each competition lasted all weekend, from load-in on Friday afternoon until the final championship rounds Sunday evening.

During the competition, the AHC team competed in multiple matches against other teams. In each match, there were three teams in one alliance against three other teams in a different alliance. The mix of teams changed in each game. These matches consisted of the alliances using their robots to load cargo into rocket ships and cargo ships.

Playing field for the game.

Geiser shared, “In robotics, girls can learn a wide range of skills that you will use once you leave school. High school students who participate in FIRST Robotics have access to $80,000,000 a year in college scholarships.”

The team performed very well at the competition and will continue to build their knowledge and skills throughout the rest of the year.