Silver Eels – High School Blogs


Apopka High School


We encountered many problems throughout the design and build phase. Our robot got stuck in two-wheel drive, the slip clutch was catching on the motor mount every time it tried to spin, and the frame of our robot (plexiglass) even broke! Overall, working together is what brought success to our team. My co-captain, and “chief of juryrigging”, Hunter Nielson was a critical member of our team. He developed a solution for the slip clutch. He said that the most effective way for us to stop this from catching on the motor mount would be to grind down a significant part of the motor mount itself. Against my better judgment, I gave Hunter the go ahead to attempt this – and his solution was right! We restored the robot’s mobility after the mount was significantly ground down. For the boldness of his decision I made him and me equal leaders of this team we made decisions together. Overall, by working as a team, we were able to secure the top spot of the “Robots of the Hidden
Temple” competition!

— Greg, Apopka High School



Boone High School


Early on in the design process we thought to bring in a camping air mattress pump to consider using for the suction of the vacuum, but decided against it because members of our group thought reversing the air flow will get too complicated. In week four we ran into another issue with the vacuum pump we had ordered. With two ideas shot down and only 3 weeks to go, I got a little nervous about the competition since we had encountered some road blocks. In week six we caught a break and the body of our car started to come together. After hooking up the fans, the suction is strong enough and we really think it’s going to work!

—Erin, Boone High School



Dr. Phillips High School


What inspired me to participate in this robotics challenge was my desire to be creative and build something out of random parts. It changed my perspective of STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in that I saw first-hand that engineering requires a lot of patience and experimentation – which taught me the need to persist in trying and not be discouraged! Another key thing that I learned was the importance of time management, because it always takes longer than you expect. The advice I would share with others is that you need to be prepared early and give yourself enough time to plan – and build!

—Philip, Dr. Phillips High School



Edgewater High School


I learned how to work in a group. I also learned how to take charge of a situation.

— Dee Dee, Edgewater High School


I was inspired to participate in this competition because I believe that robots will soon be a part of our lives and I wanted to be a part of it.

— Kesta, Edgewater High School


This competition really opened my eyes to how hard it is to work with a large group of people.

— Hailey, Edgewater High School


This competition will give me a grander view of what designing really is and gives me a better idea of how an engineering company works.

— Emily, Edgewater High School




Freedom High School



Lake Highland Preparatory School


I became interested in participating in this challenge after hearing about it in my robotics club meetings…The experience has been awesome and I would love the chance to do this again!

This competition has helped me gain insight into what a career in engineering might actually entail, and consequently has reinforced my interest in becoming
an engineer.

The coolest part of this project for me was the way that our team came together as a cohesive unit to create a finished product. Each member contributed to making our project the best it could be,and I loved getting to see the collaborative efforts of everyone. Plus, it was pretty cool when we finally got things to work when it seemed like everything was going wrong.

My favorite thing about technology is that is constantly improving. We are always coming up with a new idea or way to improve society and as a result, new machines and inventions are created thatcan help us solve problems around the world. Engineering is a way to take all of those skills that I have and apply them to create something that can really help people or solve a problem that needs solving.

—Phyllis, Lake Highland Preparatory School



Oak Ridge High School


In the very beginning, we gathered all of our ideas and began to choose which strategies might work out best for us. We decided that we should go straight to room E and perform the task in there, then move on to room C before the Temple Guardian goes off. Later on in our design process, we began searing online find places and prices for what we will need. All of us have learned how important it is to do things, such as ordering parts, in advance to allow for enough build time. Right before the competition, the entire team took turns driving the car. We did so to make sure that we all know how to work the car and to make sure everything works. Everything is working as well as anticipated.

—Vanessa, Oak Ridge High School



Ocoee High School


I’m participating in the challenge because of the opportunities that I can get out of it and also because of how fun and amazing it will be. Lots of work and understanding have to be put into this: physics, equations, programming, and common sense.It shows me that some of the things I’ve learned are not all for nothing. It’s really exciting that I get to do something that I can truly enjoy.

Computers and everything technology-wise is interesting because it changes over time. All of the mechanics and wiring and lots more all build the one thing that nearly everyone now uses.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this will turn out, before, during, and after the competition. It’s a different thing overall for me.

—Michelle, Ocoee High School



Olympia High School



Osceola High School


Our team began with ideas and design concepts and we discussed the pros and cons of each sketch and narrowed our possibilities to two main designs. Design one included a roller that would “fan” balls continuously and design two comprised an arm that would have a basket attached to the end of it, which would be used to pick up balls with a rubber band base. This would allow the balls to slide between the rubber bands as the basket was dropped onto the ball. Ultimately, when our mentors suggested that we use a matrix to weigh the pros and cons of each design, our team chose the second design with the rubber band idea. From there, we utilized our 3-D printer for certain parts of our robot. We conceptualized the ideas on Autodesk Inventor and then printed the pieces out. The last two weeks were filled with excitement as our team went into overdrive in order to fine-tune our machine…Overall, this was an enjoyable experience that gave our team invaluable experience within the engineering world and its process. The advice we received from our top-notch mentors helped us mold our team and robot into something special.

—Adita, Osceola High School