A.W. Beattie’s award-winning FIRST Robotics team has kicked off its season with about 20 participants.
The Bulldogs compete as Team 2051 in FIRST, which is an international organization for high school students who compete in tournaments and can earn scholarships and real world experience in engineering robotics weighing more than 100 pounds made from scratch.
A.W. Beattie will look to build upon recent successes, including earning a Captaincy last summer at WVRox. Teams earn captaincies in competition during qualification rounds of competitions through a combination of winning matches and achieving points throughout the game. Captains in FIRST Robotics get to select their alliances for the tournament stages of competitions.
“I’m so excited to have the team back together and to get our first prototype done,” Deer Lakes senior Kasey Bowser said. “It’s going well. We feel we can be a strong team if we see the value in what everyone brings to the table and embrace that. We’ll have leaders like any other year, and we need everyone to collaborate to be successful. I want to make sure everyone feels encouraged to be as involved as possible.”
This season’s roster will blend experienced team members with newcomers looking to learn and contribute.
Pine-Richland senior Hunter Wierzbowski went to A.W. Beattie’s Summer Camp as an eighth-grade student and learned about FIRST, which he joined as a freshman.
“It’s such a different perspective as you get more experience and learn more, and now after four years I feel like I’m taking on more of a leadership role and helping new people out,” Hunter said. “I’m glad I got started as a freshman and that leaders before me got me involved in the process. I’m still learning every day. I’m excited to work with everyone.”
Team 2051 will need many skilled members to contribute equally to have a chance to earn awards and win competitions.
“It’s important that we communicate and work well together,” Hunter said. “We want to build the best robot we can. If we do that, we can be successful as a team.”
Students from other programs may join the team, which is run like a small business with some students working on robotics, programming and engineering and others in marketing, finances and graphic design.
We also thank Team 2051's sponsors - Caterpillar, the Gene Haas Foundation, and the Arconic Foundation.