Whitman Robotics Club Ready for Coopertition

It may not be in the dictionary yet, but the term coopertition already has its own US patent. Robotics clubs across the area like to consider themselves gracious professionals, so the word coopertition helps to explain why these groups of students like to promote the philosophy of teamwork and collaboration among engineers, helping each other out when necessary while still engaged in competition. At the recent unveiling of this year’s competition robot, the Walt Whitman Robotics Club introduced ”Caroline.” While not of Jeremy Lin caliber, Caroline can throw a basketball into a hoop with the best of them, and so the team is hopeful as the competition date nears.

The robotics team at Whitman was formed during the 2006-2007 school year and immediately got everyone’s attention when they won “Rookie of the Year,” earning them a trip to the national competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Robots don’t come cheap, even when they’re in 1,000 pieces, so the club has a busy fund-raising season, which included seeking donations from area corporations. The club has actively raised funds for other worthy organizations as well, and they have become a Whitman favorite for hosting the St. Baldrick’s Day fundraiser, raising over $50,000 for childhood cancer research and treatment. This years’ St. Baldrick’s event will be held on March 14 from 3 PM to 6PM at the Walt Whitman Forum.

The team has also made significant donations to the Wounded Warrior Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the American
Lung Association, to name a few. This is the team’s sixth FIRST Robotics Competition. The competition is a national program that challenges teams of students and their mentors to design and build a 130-pound robot in a 6-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. The 2012 Long Island Regional FIRST Robotics Competition will be held on March 29 through 31 at Hofstra University.