Name: Aaron Ray
Grade: 12 - Class of 2015
Previous School: Santa Catalina
I have been a part of the York Robotics Club since my freshman year, and I am now the president of the club. We participated in some small competitions in the past, but nothing that really intrigued us. Last year, in order to provide more of a challenge, we participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), an international robotics competition. Teams have six weeks to design and build a robot. Every year, there is a new challenge that requires innovative solutions to robot design. In our first year of competing, we built and programmed a robot that would pass, catch, and shoot large exercise balls and play a basketball-like game with and against other robots. This year, the challenge required us to stack plastic containers and place a recycling bin and pool noodle on top. We spent a rigorous six weeks building the robot and teaching the team members how to work in a machine shop environment. After completing the robot, we brought it to San Jose to compete in the regional competition. Over the course of three days we frantically made last-minute changes and made sure we could play the game as well as we could. We competed with and against some of the top teams in the country, while learning a great deal about robot design from their elegant machines. These last two years of competing in FRC have inspired me to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science next year in college. I greatly value the opportunity I have had to participate in this competition while at York.