Central High School Robotics Team Excels in FIRST Season
“The Iron Claw,” Central High School’s robot, reaches a metal arm toward the overhead bar. Clang. There’s an intake of breath, but these students know what they’re doing. The robot reaches for the second bar. Clang. The Iron Claw swings forward, suspended in mid-air.
Malachi Williams Lindsey is one of two freshman drivers who control the Hunting Eagles’ robot. The first time he made the robot climb was nerve-racking.
“We’d never done it before, but at the same time, I knew we could do it,” Malachi said. “I was excited. I try to be the best at everything I do.”
It’s that attitude that has carried Malachi and his teammates through this year’s First Robotics Competition season — their first.
“FRC was a big step for us because we had been doing competitions with a smaller robot,” Coach Coi Bui said. “To watch them start three weeks late and get to this point? It’s amazing. They qualified for worlds with only one regional.”
The Central team received the highest rookie seed and the Rookie All Star Award at the Heartland Regional in March. They were able to qualify for the FIRST Championship - Hopper Division, which was held April 20-23, 2022, in Houston, Texas.
Junior Nura Abdi is the team’s ambassador. Though her role is less technical than engineer, programmer or driver, it’s an important part of FIRST competitions.
“What I do is go around to other teams and ask them questions: safety captain questions, technician questions, engineering questions and questions about their robot,” Nura said.
Nuri also helps promote robotics on social media and at Central High School. She even designed the team’s t-shirts.
Brian Turner provides technical mentoring for the Hunting Eagles. He has been working with local robotics teams since his son was a student Park Hill High School, helping young people develop STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills.
Just as important, though, are the life skills robotics teaches.
“Team sports are how most of our kids get experience working with a team. Kids who aren’t athletic don’t always get those opportunities at the high school level,” Turner said. “But through robotics, they can discover how much more powerful they are as a team than as individuals.”
Interested in sponsoring the Central High School Hunting Eagles or another KCPS robotics team? Contact Ericka Mabion, KCPS CTE Coordinator.