Cool Schools: Phelps High School Robotics Team Builds, Programs Robot To Shoot Basketball

7:07 AM, Mar 1, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- Just in time for March Madness we're talking hoops! But not in the traditional sense. A basketball and net are still involved, but the difference with this game is that a robot built and programmed by the students is shooting the free throws!

After 4 years on the Phelps High School First Robotics Team, he's a leader and a proven winner.

Terrell Lowery shared, "We're the highest rank in D.C. We come in the semi finals almost every year."

Lowery loves engineering and showing the new members of the team what it takes to succeed. This year the team will build, program and control a robot which scoops and shoots basketballs very quickly. The higher the basket, the higher the point total is and thankfully, the students are good at it.

Their team has some pretty impressive mentors, too, such as engineer Leo Yon from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"It's fun," Yon told us. "I can't tell you how much fun it really is."

And that's the point of it all: getting more students to see how physics, electronics and math can be a blast.

Phelps High School Principal Michael Johnson added, "Being able to engage your interest, your major, in a practical competition that's also fun."

But being involved in the first robotics competition goes way beyond that. Students not only apply what they've learned but colleges notice if they are in the program, too.

Engineering teacher Brandon Moore explained, "There are certain schools that will give you money automatically, just for being a participant and some of our students have already taken advantage of that."

That is a good thing for senior co-captain Tyler Saunders because just one of many of these students shooting for the stars.

Tyler Saunders shared, "I want to work on space crafts. I plan to work for NASA."

First robotics is proving to be their first lift off.

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