SIS forms Robotics team ahead of future competitions

Isabelle Lee, Reporter

On Oct. 6, SIS formed its long awaited KAIAC VEX Robotics team. David Bonar, AP Physics 1 and 2 teacher, coached the first practice, preparing students for KAIAC competitions. Practices were held in the Robotics room, a new addition to the school facilities this year. 


“A Robotics team is a relatively novel concept in the SIS school community,” Joshua Lee (11), robotics expert, said. “I think that it could be a valuable experience for those interested in the field, because I know firsthand that Robotics can be hard to learn without help. Robotics competitions allow students to become more engaged and knowledgeable, since real experiences can be the best practice.” 


The Robotics team was formed in order to compete in various KAIAC competitions against schools such as CI, APIS, KIS, and SFS. This year, robotics is being considered equal to a winter sport, as it requires the same level of dedication. However, unlike sports athletes, Robotics team members do not need any previous experience in the field and only need to make the effort to learn. 


“I have already learned so much from the first practice session we had,” Fabian Roh (11), Robotics team member, said. “We were able to experience realms of robotics that we did not previously know about, and it was greatly beneficial for me as a student aspiring to major in Robotics. I hope to learn more about this and participate in the offered competitions this year.”


During the first meeting, Mr. Bonar focused on introducing the competitions and familiarizing students with the idea of robotics. For the following practices, the Robotics team will practice tournament skills under the guidance of Mr. Bonar. Both in teams and individually, students will develop their own skills to improve teamwork and competition performance. 


“During the first meeting, there was a revelation about the different ranges of skill sets,” Mr. Bonar, Robotics team coach, said. “This year, members varied immensely in skill level as some members were experts while others did not know the concept of VEX. After gauging the general skillset of the team, we planned out our future for the competitions, practices, and more.”


While the team has had only one practice so far, there are high hopes for the journey of the SIS Robotics that lies ahead. Students will engage in intense group work, there will be collaboration, discourse, and other means of bonding. The first Robotics team in SIS history will hopefully allow more students to kindle an interest in STEM.


“Even though I joined the team because I am deeply interested in robotics, I am also excited to develop friendships with other students and teachers through the competitions,” Eric Kim (11), STEM student, said. “This seems to be a great opportunity for students across all grades to approach their upper and underclassmen and build rapport. I hope to be a valuable addition to the team and have some great memories this year.