Spartechs Build Successful Robotics Season


Aisha Durrani

The spartan robotics team, known as the Spartechs, work together to produce robots that are able to overcome challenges.

Aisha Durrani

On April 6th, Southern Lehigh’s robotics team, the Spartechs, competed in the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship at Lehigh University. The event was massive, with over sixty teams competing in the tournament. The Spartechs advanced along with other top teams to the FIRST Championship in Detroit, Michigan.

During the season, members competed in several different tournaments, where the team competed against other schools in various challenges. Some events involved transporting orange balls into a “cargo ship,” as well as placing a plastic disk onto either the “cargo ship” or the “rocket.” Efficiency is integral in these competitions, as competitors can earn more points based on their speed. 

“For us, the orange balls are easier because we have a better intake for them, and we can get them in and out faster,” senior Jackson Seiger said. “Overall, it much easier for the robot to get the balls instead of the hatches.”

From January to February, also known as the “build season,” the team works tirelessly to create their robot. There are different responsibilities for different team members, from programming to business. Each member works together to create a effective robot for the tournament.

“Every year, our robots are very unique, and our students on the team are very creative in coming up with innovative designs,” senior robotics team president Brandon Myung said. “Being a team, we really come together, and we can accomplish the impossible here.”

In robotics, students must learn how to cooperate with one another in order to craft a efficient, precise, and effective robot. Mr. Joseph Zacher and Mr. Jonathan Piperato both coach the team, helping them apply the necessary skills to create the robot.

“Seeing the students apply the things they learn in school to the real world is a really great opportunity,” Mr. Zacher said. “Deciding which method to work with is often a challenge, so finding a common ground is an important thing to figure out when the team builds the robot.”

The sixty robots that competed were extremely diverse in their varying capabilities. This allows teams to to decide which strategy would be most effective when competing.

“This year, we’ve really been the offensive power,” freshman Charleston Bijou said. “When we look at the other tournaments we’ve competed in, like Westtown or Seneca, the offensive strength we have is nearly unmatched at those tournaments.”

The Spartechs agreed that team cooperation is integral when competing, as the team needed to cooperate every step of the way to build, operate, and maneuver the robot. There are currently five officers that work together to organize the team.

“My favorite part is probably everyone’s excitement while we are playing, and how much the team bonds,” senior Audrey Miller said. “Throughout this season, the team has gotten so close, and everyone can be themselves with each other. Also, we’re doing pretty good, so that’s awesome.”

The Spartechs had many other victories during the season. The team had also won the Seneca Tournament, as well as winning multiple safety and quality awards.

“There’s a really fun atmosphere [at these tournaments],” sophomore Alyssa Zimmerman said. “It’s really fun to see something you helped build and create, and it’s nice to see it do so well and succeed.”