Penn Charter's Robotics Club won the Philadelphia FIRST Tech Challenge League Championship this year and went on to capture 13th (of 36 teams) at States.
The team, comprised of Upper School students from every grade and advised by science teachers Tim Clarke and Corey Kilbane, constructed and coded a robot that would complete tasks assigned in advance by the competition. "Our robot was reliable," Clark said afer the Philly competition. "Other teams had robots that could do more things, but they fell over and were useless, or just didn't work. So reliable was good! And we continued work to improve our robot."
Team members Gordon Robertson, Amelia Dogan, Josh Patton and Ian Harbison guided the PC robot to victory. The 17 students on the PC team worked to design and build the robot, write its JAVA programming, coded tasks and designed parts that were laser cut or 3D printed at Penn Charter. "In the future," Clarke said, "we hope to use the IdeaLab space to machine some parts. We will get raw metal and make our own robot parts, in addition to what we can already do."
Penn Charter was in second place going into the final round in Philly. As part of the competition, the top four teams choose a partner for the final round, as part of each round is collaborative. Penn Charter paired with Boys Latin and competed against the Friends Select School and the G.W. Carver High School of Engineering and Science GearGirls pairing. The PC team wracked up the most points and took the championship.
The win earned PC a spot in the state championships, where the team of Amelia Dogan, Ian Harbison, Gordon Robertson and Elizabeth Ominsky placed 13 out of 36 teams after the placement rounds.
"The team had a great rookie year and is excited for next year," said Tim Clarke, PC science teacher and advisor to the Robotics Club.