NRHS’s robotics team wins big at competition

UPDATE: We are just beyond proud of our Robotics Team which made history over the long weekend by being the first-ever NRHS Robotics Team to compete. On Feb, 15, the team hoped to win just one round at the VEX Robotics Competition held in Milford. They far exceeded their expectations by finishing 10th out of 32 teams!
 Previous release:
In the landscape of basketball and bowling championships and swimming qualifications, another New Richmond High School team quietly prepares to make history.

Sophomores William Swart, Jordan Shuck, Brandon Gibson, and Charles Stammen are students in NRHS teacher Alan Lindner’s Robotics II class and members of the school’s new competitive robotics team. On Feb. 15 the team will become the first to represent NRHS in a robotics competition.

Throughout this school year, the friends and teammates have designed, constructed, programmed, and learned to operate their robot. All of their work has been in preparation for this - the VEX Robotics Competition at Milford High School. Of course, they want to do well, Mr. Lindner said.

“But the big thing is we’re going to learn,” he said. “We’re kind of like an expansion team. We want to compete and, eventually, we want to win.”

To say the students are nervous is an understatement. They are also hopeful.

Swart, the official team spokesman, said no matter the outcome of the Feb. 15 competition, the team will experience success just going out there and seeing what they can do.

“Even if we don’t win, I say we got in, we got to play the game, we didn’t mess up. Everything’s the right size, and I’m totally satisfied with that,” Swart said. “Overall, I think this is going to go well.”

It’s a sentiment shared by his teammates.

Shuck is the driver on competition day.

“It’s weird to think that we will be the first people representing New Richmond taking a robot that we created,” Shuck said. “We designed and we did everything to compete against other people who have done this.”

VEX Competitions are STEM-focused and task participants with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The objective of the game for the Feb. 15 competition is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by placing cubes in towers and scoring cubes in goal zones.

Full competition details are available online at

Charles Stammen is the key robot engineer for the NRHS team. He’s looking forward to the first competition but said he’s nervous.

From the experience, he said he hopes to gain a better understanding of robotics for a possible future career.

Brandon Gibson is the team programmer. One of his primary responsibilities is writing the code for the robot’s 15-second autonomous task.

This competition will be a learning experience, he said. Hopefully, the team will win its first match.

“If we win our first match, we’ve succeeded at doing what we wanted to do,” Gibson said.

Additionally, Gibson and his teammates hope their involvement in the robotics competition might increase interest in NRHS’s robotics class and, ultimately, help grow the team.

Team expansion is an idea embraced by Lindner who hopes for an even “bigger and badder” robot next year.

“And maybe next year there will be two competitions we can go to,” he said.

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