What should I know before joining the robotics club in high school?

  1. Hi, I am in 8th grade and am really into science, mostly the physics, and math related stuff. I have friends that do the robotics team in high school and say it is great, but I don't have much experience with engineering. I am worried that I will join the team, but will not be able to contribute and will not understand the concepts that anyone is talking about. I am advanced in both math and science and can learn things quickly.

    What type of stuff will we be dealing with if the competition the school enters is the FIRST Robotics Competition? What basics should I know so I can join the team and contribute to the project?

    Thanks, all help will be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. People join robotics clubs usually to learn more about robotics. Don't worry about what you don't know. The most important part is to show up the club meetings and events. The club members will provide guidance on the scope of the projects for the year. Additionally, they will point you towards books/ do it yourself projects/ mentor you.

    If you want to get a head start on robotics in general, you can pick up some arduino kits, robotics experiments for the evil genius books, build an rc car, spend some time in a machine shop, and practice soldering some components together.

    Good luck and have fun.
  4. I agree with Jehake12, generally those clubs are open to any and all interested students. You can learn the basics of circuits/chipboards, mechanical and electromechanical devices (like servo motors, gears, gearboxes, rack and pinions), and programming. (I think FIRST robotics are programmed using icon based programming, but I remember my robotics club had some setups where you had to program in unix-based language. (these are all things you can look up too, if you don't know what they are, if you didn't already have enough reading)

    Too add to that, though, be safe if you try any of these DIY projects. Make sure any equipment you are using which could maybe cause a fire, or cause you harm (drills, soldering irons, dremils) are properly setup in proper work areas, and have your parents or a qualified adult/teacher instruct you in the proper use of these tools.

    And get in the habit of waering safety glasses, even when soldering.
  5. Integral

    Integral 7,288
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Incoming freshmen are not expected to know anything. What we want is students who want to learn and are not afraid to get their hands dirty. It is a big plus if you can put down your "device" (game, phone, etc) and be a part of or even listen to the meeting going on around you. We lost one promising freshman because I insisted that he shut down his game and close his computer when there was a discussion going on. Be willing to participate, be willing to learn that is ALL that we ask of new students.

    ex mentor SWARM First team 957
  6. Just join and let the seniors teach you :)
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