Ever since when I was a child, I was a fanatic of building, especially toys such as lego and gundam. Even now, although now I have no time to try to build toy models, I still crave for satisfaction that is yielded when I build things. This is why I reached the solution of joining the Robotics club during my junior year. I felt that if I were to join this club, then I would able to satisfy my lust for building what I wanted, while utilizing an academic addition to my school curriculum. Furthermore, I would be able to compete in domestic robotics competitions that would help incentivize the need for me to continue modifying my robot.
The 1st VEX robotics competition of the 2018-19 season occurred at Asia Pacific International School at October 13th. After two months of preparation in class, our class was able to bring our robots, prepared to face off against other schools, and perhaps, against each other. The teams of Chadwick, APIS, and KISJ (Korean International School Jeju) competed each other in the APIS gym. 13 teams participated in the event(6 from Chadwick, 5 from APIS, and 2 from KISJ), and it was a good learning experience for me, due to how I was able to amplify my motivation to participate in these school competitions, as well as developing the robot. This April, the annual VEX robotics competition topic was released, which was called, “Turning Point.”
|[A photo of all of the members of the APIS VEX robotics club
(Picture taken by the APIS faculty and given to Matthew Choi)]
Turning point is a competition which robots have to move flags, shoot balls on flags, and knock over cones. This competition has more rules than previous competitions, due to how the topic is more complex, and has a lot ways to score points. For example, if a team were to successfully shoot a flag they would get two points, and if they were to knock over a cone they would get one point. The competition is done with an “alliance,” or two teams that work together to get points, and they compete against another alliance, effectively making the competition a 2 versus 2 competition.
|[The VEX competition field set up in the APIS school gym(picture taken by Matthew Choi)]|
However, a key difference I faced during the competition was that several teams had not put in their full effort onto the robots, while several of the APIS teams did. This was a perfect contrast to the last competition I participated in, where all of the teams except for our team were all prepared with the best robot they could make, while my team felt like sitting ducks. Now that all of the teams were at equal footing, I felt that it would be possible for my team to stand a chance against the other teams during the March competition.
All in all, I have to say that APIS competition was an epiphany that made me want to embrace my willpower to continue building, and showing that my team had hope to do well in future VEX competitions. Moreover, I also felt that this competition can be a new starting point for my building hobby. I think that this competition was a prime motivator for me to try to do well on the November VEX competition at Chadwick International School, as well as a good reflection on what our robot needed to improve on.
Asia Pacific International School
Matthew Choi firstname.lastname@example.org
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