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Schools Rule: Building futures with robotics

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 8:04 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Students in the Haslett School District are coming off a big win. The Robotics Club won the state championship title this spring, but they’re not taking any time off for the summer.

Ilaria and Aikem were inspired by their older brothers to join the Haslett Robotics Club.

Aikem said, “My brother started the year before me. I found it interesting, just going in the basement and seeing what he’s up to.”

Now the siblings are all on one team. They took the state championship title at the vex iq michigan state tournament in May.

Ilaria said, “I was really, like, surprised and shocked. I didn’t think that I would be winning the state championship.”

Aikem said, “Yeah, I know! It was like late night. I was like, ‘Wait what? We won?’”

It’s especially impressive because most of their building had to be done virtually this year.

“You had to record or for example states we had live,” Aikem said. “We’d be on zoom and they’d be seeing live what we’re doing.”

Ilaria and Aikem are still in middle school but they’re already looking to the future. Ilaria wants to go into mechanical engineering, while Aikem is considering biomedical engineering.

Some of those skills they’re learning through robotics. Wouter Claassens is the coach of the Robotics Team.

Claassens said, “You’ve got to practice driver skills so you can drive the robot and make it do everything you do, and then you’ve got to program it to make it do what you do driving, and they’ve got to do all these different things.”

It may be summer vacation but there’s no time off for these champions.

Ilaria said, “We’re actually currently working on next year’s robot, so we’ve been prototyping a lot.”

The future is looking bright for the next generation of engineers.

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