By Lakshmi Anandaraj
Sir Oliver Mowat’s robotics team, the Mowat Mustangs 7710, will be competing in the Canadian First Robotics Competition on March 3 and 15. The team consists of Calvin Boerner-Cabeceira, Grace Harrison, Mara Isenor, Ronald Paul, Mihir Ambati and Basel Syed. They are mentored by Krysta Peralto, Shahdab Shaheen, Quinton Suitor and Thomas Steele. Mr. Ettorre and Mr. Bell are the teachers that supervise and guide this club.
The First Robotics Competition is a national high school robotics competition that gives students real engineering experience. “It teaches us mechanical engineering from building the robot piece by piece, programming because it takes a lot of work to have the robot do exactly what you want it to do, and we also learn enterprise skills through finding sponsors, donors and other people who might be able to help our team,” said Mara Isenor. “There’s also electrical components because of all of the wiring we have to do.”
Thousands of teams enter the competition every year. This year, the theme is deep space, presented by Boeing.
“We build and program a robot that is around three feet by three feet. The robot has to complete tasks and is driven by human players to achieve those tasks. This year, since the theme is deep space, we have to load a model spacecraft with cargo. We get points for exiting the habitat we start in, securing the hatch of a shuttle that has cargo in it, and ensuring that cargo is properly stored. It’s based on a ranking system,” Mara said. “We have an alliance with two other teams, and if we fill a rocket, we get a point.”
Work is already underway and the team meets almost every day to work on their robot. They spend an average of three hours every time they meet. They started in October to find sponsors, and built their first model in December. They get six weeks to have a fully functional robot for the competition. The game was released on January 5 with the objective of the game.
The team hopes to win their first district competition at Durham College from March 1 to March 3. If they win this, they proceed to the championships in Detroit in late April.
“We’re looking forward to a great season,” said Ronald Paul.
Follow their instagram account at mustangs7710 to get updates on their progress. If you are willing to sponsor this team or know anyone who would like to sponsor them, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.