Robotics Team back in working order


Oliver Hall

Noah Gray (Left) and Ryan Rosillo (Right) are two founding members of the renewed robotics club. They worked hard to get funding from the South High foundation to bring their club back and its possible other clubs that were cut last year can replicate this process so they can return too. Photo: Oliver Hall

In the wake of the budget cuts at the end of last year many clubs were cut. These clubs were precious to the students that belonged to them so it’s only sensible that some students would make efforts to revive these clubs. One of these clubs that was brought back was the Robotics club, this is due to the blood sweat and tears of a small group of students. This is how the robotics team was brought back from the dead.

It started off as a joke made by senior Ryan Rosillo, who was in the club last year as well as this year, directed towards sophomores Noah Gray and Annabelle Boedecker, two of his club mates. “Last year I jokingly challenged them to get a bunch of names on a petition [to revive the robotics club and] then they went and did it,” Rosillo said.

Gray talked a bit about what he had learned when it came to bringing back dead clubs. “You have to find a teacher who will be willing to do it. When everyone says no you have to spice up the deal.”

Among other things it is very important that you find an adult who is willing to help with the club. Tom Klein from the South High foundation talked in detail about the criteria that the foundation had for funding clubs and the foundation’s perspective on this specific instance. “[The robotics club] connected with the foundation and were looking for sources of funding and the foundation, through their grants program, has a way a group of volunteers can look at an application and see if it makes sense.” said Klein. “What were looking for is ‘How does this serve South students?’ ‘Does the money seem to reach a lot of kids?’ So we’re looking for project ideas that will help as many students as possible and there has to be a South teacher or some kind of faculty involved so we know that there’s some guidance there.”

After the petition was filled out Rosillo took it upon himself to devote the first quarter of his senior year to bringing the club back. Rosillo described what that consisted of; “a lot of strife, a lot of meeting with the foundation team, a lot of time spent writing a grant proposal, a lot of time pre planning the curriculum we’d be using this year.”

Rosillo’s grant proposal managed to persuade the foundation team to revive the club. “We asked for a sum of money I will not [say how much] here because I still need to get the check cut,” said Rosillo. “From there it was several meetings with the foundation team to finalize things and now we’re here in a very summarized way.”

Rosillo talked a bit about some of the changes that will be made to the new robotics team to differentiate it from the old one. “Instead of the teachers being responsible for making sure everything’s on track, it will be myself, Annabelle, and Noah directing things with a curriculum I have written,” continued Rosillo.  “I’m very much focusing on the students driving themself to get things done rather than babysitting.”

There are a few possible outcomes of the foundation granting funding to revive the robotics club. It’s possible that the robotics club will be the only dead club to come back this year but this could just as easily inspire other prospective club leaders to bring back dead clubs from last year or start entirely new clubs so either way, keep an eye on what goes on after school.