High school team named champions in robotics competition - WFSB 3 Connecticut


High school team named champions in robotics competition

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New London's Stem Whalers built a robot as part of a competition (WFSB) New London's Stem Whalers built a robot as part of a competition (WFSB)

Students from New London have been named champions in a robotics competition.

The Stem Whaler’s team, from New London High School, is the number two first robotics team on the planet.

Senior Talon Close said teams are given an equal amount of parts, and just six weeks to design and built their robot, which had to collect and deliver large gear-like objects across a playing field.

"Definitely the design process in general, learning how actually everything goes together,” Close said.

"Coming into high school I wanted to be a marine biologist but after working with the robotics team taking computer science classes and programming for the robot I realized that is something I want to focus on in college,” said senior Samantha Sprecace.

She’s heading to Rensselaer in the fall where her father Adam Sprecace went. He’s not only a mechanical engineer, but also the team’s mentor.

"It’s fantastic. A lot of this year came down to being ready when opportunity knocked...and it did,” Adam Sprecace said.

Hard work paid off, as the team knocked out nearly all of the competition but one in St. Louis.

Not only did they design a robot that could climb, but they learned this team building competition made their hearts and minds soar.

"One of the bigger parts of being on this team is that I had a family to hang out with the first 6 months of every year,” said senior Jacky Karl.

"One of the things we strive for at the school is being able to collaborate and they know what collaboration is in the 6 weeks and on the playing field,” said Janet Farquhar, assistant director of the Science Magnet School.

The Stem Whalers are planning to do it again next year but they want to be number one, and the final competition will be in Detroit. 

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