Ethan Talks Willis’ Robotics Club

Q. The Robotics team qualified for the world finals. Tell us more about that. What did your team do to qualify?
Our team, consisting of Aryan, McKay, Sam and me qualified for the world finals by earning the Excellence award at the Arizona State Championship. This means that, even though we didn’t win the tournament, we were the best overall middle school team in the state. This involves being able to perform well in matches, having good sportsmanship, presenting ourselves well to the judges, and recording our progress in an organized engineering notebook.
Q. What types of thing do you do in robotics club?
We spend most of our time during the season designing, building and sharing ideas. However, we also learn a lot about engineering. We are taught about the engineering design process, gear ratios, center of mass, torque and lots of other concepts that provide us with the knowledge and skill to create an effective robot.
Q. What role do you play in your team?
I am a designer and builder, meaning I produce detailed sketches of a part, then use that to construct a final product. These designs are always tentative, as a new problem may arise in a design that must be solved. However, my role in the team is only on part of several. We must all cooperate in order to be successful.

Q. What is your favorite part of being involved in this team?
My favorite part of Robotics is the satisfaction of seeing something, which I created, succeed in competitions. However, what I enjoy most about being in this team is getting to spend lots of time with my friends, doing what I enjoy, and experiencing the end goal of success together.
Q. What will you be introducing at the world finals this year? What will you do if your team wins?
The design we will be using for the world finals is a product of countless hours of designing, testing and redesigning. After all this, as well as exploring what other teams are using, we found that a pair of pincers, to grasp and throw objects, has been proven to be most effective. Winning any award, let alone being tournament championship, would be amazing! Hundreds of teams are competing at this event in the middle school division alone. So just being invited to the event is exciting. However, if we did win, we would have more of a reason to expand and promote the program in the future. The Firebots would have quite a bright future. And, of course, we would celebrate!

To support the team going to Worlds, or the club in general, please visit:

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