It's "game on" for Samantha Arthur, who said she's going to St. Louis next week to win.
The 17-year-old senior, a member of the Warren G. Harding FIRST Robotics Team, said it's not every day that she gets to go to the world championship, and she and her teammates say they intend to make the most of it with the robots they'll be working with.
Harding robotic students put on demonstration
"It's exciting to know your team has made it this far, and that you get to go and really show what your robot can do," she said.
The Harding Robotics Team, Delphi E.L.I.T.E. Team 48, recently won the Pittsburgh and Wisconsin regional events and is moving on to the World Championship competition in St. Louis on April 24.
On Tuesday, the team demonstrated this year's challenge: Maneuvering a remote-driven robot across the gym and controlling it well enough that it can score points by shooting basketballs into a hoop.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Warren G. Harding senior Samantha Arthur, 17, operates a robot during the open house.
Arthur and teammate Tyler Nimmagadda, 17, a senior, are "drivers" who control the robot from the baseline. Joe Angelo, 18, also a senior, is a member of the build team.
"Basically, I'm one of the people responsible for building the robot, keeping it operating and making sure it's running well," he said.
Angelo was among the students and mentors from Team 48 on hand to answer questions and give demonstrations of this year's robot and game. Representatives from Warren City Schools, as well as Delphi, a team sponsor, were also in attendance.
Warren G. Harding's FIRST Robotics Team 2011-12 school year highlights:
First place in Pittsburgh with a record of 16-0
First place in Wisconsin with a record of 13-5
Second place in Cincinnati with a record of 12-6
Overall record of 41-11 at the three regional events
Pittsburgh Regional Chairman's Award (The highest honor in FIRST Robotics)
Pittsburgh Regional Woodie Flowers Finalist Award
Wisconsin Motorola Quality Award
Cincinnati UL Industrial Safety Award
"We've done really well this year, but it's a tough competition," said Greg Christman, a team leader. "You never really know how it will go or what will happen, but the team's ready. We have a good chance, and we should make the playoffs. We'll just go out and do the best that we can."
Christman said there will be 100 teams in four divisions in St. Louis this year and the top 24 teams in each division will make the playoffs. He said this is the Warren team's 15th year going to a World Championship and the second time traveling to St. Louis to compete.
"It's like anything else - you go there, do your best and see what happens," Christman said. "I think we have a good chance."
Still, Angelo said it can be a bit unnerving, watching from the sidelines and hoping the robot stays in "good working order."
"It can be tense sometimes," he said. "But it's a great experience."
Arthur, who joined the team during her sophomore year, said she encourages other students to get involved. She said initially she was interested in studying computer science but now is considering pursuing aerospace engineering.
"This is completely different from what I thought it would be when I first joined," she said. "I thought that it would be OK, something to do. But I've learned so much. It's a lot more interesting and exciting than people think at first.
''Once you see the way it works and what you actually do, you kind of get hooked on it and it's something you want to keep doing. I think a lot of kids would be surprised," Arthur said.
The other team members are Romando Alexander, William Anastasiadis, Michael Audia, Charles Battaglia, Kenneth Crawford, Victoria Cross, Dale Ann Damis, Kelden Delveccio, Tiffany Donley, Patrick Flanagan, Tyce Gall, Justina Gazso, Darien Genova, Sean Genova, Shane Genova, Morgan Kush, Alexandria Marino, Mindy McClung, Andrea Murray, DeVonte' Parker, Krystal Pasco, Juan Perez Jr., Chris Petri, Choniece Phillips, Tanner Riffe, TaNera Salter, Gabriel Talanca, River Travis and Ellie Vanwinkle.