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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Mecha Makos make it to Quarter Finals, what is next for the teams

MAST Academy’s Mecha Makos teams participated in their first robotics competition of the year, the VEX Region Qualifier Competition. Mecha Makos was given the opportunity to qualify for regionals on Oct. 15, 2022, at Ransom Everglades High School.

As this was a first for many, the competition served as a learning experience.

Robotics club president Brandon Jacobson recounts his perspective of the competition, stating that, although his team did not qualify, they were able to take back some improvements in order to succeed in future competitions.

“The actual competition, if you look at the scores and placing, went pretty poorly,” Jacobson said. “History has always been that we do pretty poorly at the first competition, because that first competition is where a majority of the learning comes from.

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“One of our teams, D Team, is primarily made of freshmen and students who have never been to a competition or built a robot before. So, that was their first competition and they’ve already learned so much about the game, competing, and the robot to be better at the next competition.”

Four teams were able to compete, but only one team qualified for Quarter Finals: Team C.               

Senior Liliana Brown explained the strategy that her team used, which led to a place in the quarterfinals. Brown and her team used a shoelace and attached it to the back hand of the robot, allowing the shoelace to spring from behind, allowing the robot to gain more points by covering more ground.

“Part of the reason our team did so well was the driving. You need somebody that’s able to and, also, the luck because you’re paired with random teams,” Brown stated. “We kept changing our robot and doing that more than other teams. We were trying constantly to get the most points as we could”.

There were major differences between the teams from years prior and those of this year. Engineering teacher, Mr. Miller, explained his view and the goals for upcoming competitions.

“We’ve had two competitions this year. The teams get exponentially better as the school year goes on but in the one at Ransom, all four of the teams walked in to the competition and had no offense, they were only defensive robots at that point”, Mr. Miller said.

Mecha Makos also participated in a competition in Miami Springs Civic Center on Nov. 12, 2022. The teams did not advance as far in this competition but, improvements were made to the robots based on this experience.

Aiming high towards the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas in a few months, the teams take every opportunity to improve their robots.

“So, the idea there is that if we can keep winning, we will get an invitation to go compete in Dallas, Texas in May. So, the robots get better and better as we go to a competition, find our mistakes, and make improvements on our mistakes”, stated Mr. Miller said.

Mecha Makos continue to participate in these competitions as experience builds for opportunities of victory in the field of robotics.

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Mecha Makos make it to Quarter Finals, what is next for the teams