Mass. Students Competing in National Tech Competition

A national STEM showdown begins Wednesday and a group of students from Natick, Massachusetts, are hoping to win with a robot they built.

The team called “Hank’s Tanks” is made up of students from Natick High School.

This is their first time competing in the First Tech Challenge in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The whole process designing, building, testing, seeing things fail and finally seeing things work, that’s really the satisfying fun part,” said senior Sam Cohen.

“Hank’s Tanks” is one of three teams in Massachusetts to qualify for FTC. Every year students are given a robotics kit and a game they design their robot to play.

“This year it’s called Velocity Vortex and the main objectives of the game are that there are particles on the ground and robots are supposed to go around collecting the particles and shooting them into a main vortex,” said senior Peter Ziko.

The particles are plastic balls and the vortex is a raised basket. At the end the robot also has to lift a yoga ball into that basket.

The competition is expected to be fierce, but the team says they are still there to have fun.

“We’re just very excited to go there and show them what we have got!” Ziko said. 

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