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Moonshot: More Than Just Building Robots

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FRC Atlanta 2006.
On February 21, Gilmour’s Robotics Club sent their final product to the FRC, also known as the First Robotics Competition. On March 31, the FRC will hold the Buckeye regional competition in Cleveland, Ohio.

According to Mr. Daniel Adiletta, Coordinator of Academic Technology, the official name for Gilmour Academy’s Robotics Club, Moonshots, was coined after John F. Kennedy’s promise and achievement of landing a man on the moon during his presidency. Last year, the team named their first robot Luna, which is the Latin name for moon. Following suit, this year’s robot, Io, is named after Jupiter’s moon.

Daniel Zhang (`16) started the club last year with some difficulties, because no one had previous experience in building robots. Still, Adiletta said, “We were able to overcome these difficulties and attend FRC at the first year while others need to prepare for years.”

Students from Gilmour Academy and North Royalton High School established Moonshots together as a team.

Captain Charlie Wu (`17) said, “The biggest obstacle is communicating with each other while working as a team.” Wu said that he believes the situation will be improved, because of their stronger communication efficiency.

Not all team members are involved in building the robot. Marketing and financing the budget is also necessary alongside coding, designing, and building the robot itself.

According to Moonshots’ informational handouts, the club needs to raise $7000 for building parts for the robot and other necessary materials. The financial squad is able to contact different associations and companies to get funding. Wu said, “We need to apply for grants, ask alumni, and reach out to some companies that are interested in supporting us.”

Many of the club members want to pursue their future careers in the area of robotics, and Moonshots provides them the chance to pursue their dreams. Like other clubs, Robotics Club does not require students who want to join the club to possess talents and skills. Interest alone is enough for admittance.

Mr. Matthew Vanek, Instructor in Art and Instructor in Robotics, said, “Showing up is the way to join the club. Moonshots welcomes everyone and students will have the opportunities to pursue their dreams.”

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As an Asian student who joined the school's Black Alliance Club, Charlie Xie ('20) engages himself in a cultural discourse that goes beyond cultural boundaries. Being a keen observer of both Eastern and Western culture, Charlie investigates people's behavior in different societies, and whether that behavior results from specific circumstances of that society, or is it the manifestation of a larger trend unbeknownst to him. Charlie is interested in culture, history, anthropology, philosophies and other subjects of humanities. He, however, doesn't view them as branches of studies. He regards them as ways of life or knowledge that is required for a qualification of the global citizenship. He is also very interested in math and science.