With the rise in STEM programming at area schools, more robotics teams have been formed. Westfield High School’s Sham-Rock-Botics team was conceived in 2017.
“We had nine students last year,” team sponsor Michael Marley said. “This year, we are up to 23 students. We’ve had a pretty sizable increase. We’re actually really excited about the future moving forward and where we’re going.”
The students also make a sizable commitment to the team. The team is given a concept or a guide to complete their robot and must finish it within six weeks.
“We have a six-week build period that starts at the beginning of January, and at that point we meet four times a week,” Marley said. “So, we meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and also on Saturdays.”
The team does more than merely build a self-funded robot. Students must also come up with a business plan to fund their project.
“We have a business team on Sham-Rock-Botics because our cost is anywhere up to $4,000 to build as well as up to $6,000 to compete at these events,” Marley said. “We also have to travel, so we look at raising $10,000 to $15,000 a year.”
The group competed at the 2019 FRC Indiana State Championship April 12-13 in Kokomo. The team won the entrepreneurship award at the state level.
“The judges thought our team was very well-versed in how we relate to the community, how we are funded and how we are looking toward the future to keep the success of our program going for years to come,” he said.
Marley is excited about the program’s future.
“It’s absolutely awesome what they have accomplished so far,” he said.
For more, visit frc6956.github.io/index.html.