Potsdam High School’s robotics club gets ready for competition

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 4:29 PM EST
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - When it comes to after-school activities, people often think of sports or marching band practice.

But some students at Potsdam High School spend their after-school hours working together on a robot that combines both programming and engineering.

“It’s more than just a game or just a club. It’s - I mean - these people are my closest friends, you know? This is, like I said, really a family,” said Matthew Whispell.

He has been part of Potsdam High’s robotics club for 3 years.

The team is making final adjustments to its robot as members prepare for state regional finals in March. They’ll be facing off against other robotics clubs in Utica.

Whispell says that just being a part of this club offers opportunities.

“It’s one of these things where it gives you so many connections and you meet so many people in the field, especially going around to all these colleges. It’s giving you a giant head start for your college career,” he said.

Parker Blanchard is the club’s head mechanic and says the robot is built from scratch.

“There’s almost no parts on this robot that are the way they came in the factory. I mean, probably half the parts that we have on there have been cut down, modified in some way,” he said.

If team members perform well in Utica, they may get the opportunity to move on to the national competition that is set to take place in Texas this year.