This week, we are featuring Team 11871 Voltron.  This is Toms River High School South‘s program that was funded through the Elevate Toms River Principals’ Innovation Challenge!

BY: JAMES RICOTTA, JR.
PRINCIPAL
TOMS RIVER HIGH SCHOOL SOUTH
and
KEITH CHAPMAN
CHEMISTRY/SCIENCE DEPARTMENT/ROBOTICS COACH
TOMS RIVER HIGH SCHOOL SOUTH

Our robotics team would like to thank Grunin Foundation for supporting the Toms River High School South Robotics Team- Team 11871 Voltron.  This was Toms River South’s first year at robotics.  Approximately 15 students and our coaches, Keith Chapman and Jessica Pielech built our team from scratch.  When students first joined some were concerned over the lack of experience but they were all very curious, interested and eager to learn.  We advised the group that anyone could join and they didn’t need experience, they just had to show interest!

The students progressed from an inexperienced group, to a competitive FTC robotics team. Over the past few months we competed at two FTC competitions and scrimmages. Recently we attended an expo at the Monmouth Mall to showcase and promote the robotics field. Students competed with other teams and talked to the public about robotics and allowed the public, especially children, to drive our robot. Our team had such a wonderful time at the Monmouth Mall expo, as they were able to interact with the public and talk to elementary age students about robotics. The Monmouth Mall Expo was a great experience as it allowed children of various age groups an opportunity to experience high school robotics. Our students also participated in the Toms River South’s Maker Day event at our media center and had a scrimmage with our other high schools, Toms River High Schools North and East. The team is planning on attending one more FTC scrimmage on May 20th at the Chatham High School.

The program has been very successful for many reasons. Our program grew dramatically.  The number of students increased and we obtained more equipment and electronics for the robot.  Most importantly, students were learning valuable life skills.  Through our meetings and competitions, students learned how to manage a team, coordinate and assign roles, and learned to collaborate ideas.  The students also learned how to build, program and compete with other schools who had far more experience.

The team is looking forward to next year and already thinking and planning ahead. The students are thinking about how to make our robot, Voltron, better, stronger and more advanced. We look forward to continued success with our team!

To get a sneak peak of all projects, click here!

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