By John Raffel
They’re team leaders for Rambler Robotics and McBain High School seniors Jared Dunham and Kyle Beerens are ready to roll.
They’re on the McBain robotics team which is getting ready for competition.
Danielle Utecht, a McBain mathematics teacher and Robotics coach, said the team has signed up for two competitions: Kettering University on March 9-11 and Gaylord High School on March 16-18. She added that the team has expanded to about 30 people and has been divided into the mechanical, electrical, programming, and marketing groups.
Dunham and Beerens are both team leaders in the different groups.
“We were both in robotics last year, which was our first year,” Beerens said. “Our favorite part was going down to Flint and doing some competition here. It was interesting, that first year, since we had to learn how to do everything.”
The McBain team is competing in the FIRST Steamworks robotics competition.
“Right now, we seem to be moving along a lot smoother than last year,” Dunham said., “We went to the big meeting with a bunch of Robotics groups. The entire focus on being there was to build a robot in one day. They helped you build your robot and get it running within one day.
“This year, we’re not going to use that. We won’t be needing that. We have experience to build a robot by ourselves without much outside help.”
The team has been divided into the mechanical, electrical, programming, and marketing groups.
“Programming is going to give the robot all the instruction it needs,” Dunham said. “Marketing goes out and basically goes out and promotes our team and figures out ways to earn money for the team and get sponsors.”
It’s different groups, and one robot. But it’s a tremendous amount of enjoyment and satisfaction.
“It’s being able to work as a group, work on one project and see that project lay out on the field,” Dunham said.
Scott Dunham is another team advisor.