The Battle of Lexington
The Battle of Lexington, a historic moment in New England history, was fought this month by students at Gann. But, instead of soldiers on a field, the battle consisted of specially-crafted robots completing complex missions. And, just as in battles past, Gann Robotics walked away with many accolades.
Robotics as a high school sport is all about solving real-life engineering challenges. At competitions, teams use video game controllers to deploy and navigate their robots. Points accumulate as robots accomplish tasks like hoisting a giant ball onto a structure in the arena. Gann fielded four teams this year, creatively named by our students: RABBI, Aleph Bots, Hutzbots, and Bot Mitzvah (Gann's new all-female-identifying team)."The Battle of Lexington was an amazing learning experience," said Aviva Stein ’21, a member of team Bot Mitzvah. "Although we were all newcomers, we were able to work together, creating a space for all of us to develop a greater understanding of different engineering and technological processes.”The competition's standout performance came from team RABBI which advanced to the finals to compete against the reigning world champions. "Competing in the finals was a wonderfully unexpected and incredible time," said Douglas Lilly '21 who helped drive the team's robot. RABBI played an extremely close match but was edged out in the final moments. Despite the loss, they still took home the Finalist Alliance 1st Pick award.Reflecting on the team’s season to date, Gann Robotics Coach Simon Metcalf notes that members are honing both engineering and business skills, from computer programming and circuit making to budgeting and marketing. "These students are learning all the time, and also mentoring younger kids," he says, "but at the end of the day, they're also having a lot of fun."