The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times


Edwardsville Technologies Robotics Team Competes in St. Louis Regionals
Edwardsville Techonologies’ bot, 4921, is placed on the course.

A group of EHS students competed on in the St. Louis Regional Robotics Tournament on March 23, a last taste of St. Louis robotics for seniors of the club.

“I have been a part of robotics for over 10 years,” senior Jake Essner said. “The club itself has been around for about that long, since 2013.”

The group, Edwardsville Technologies, participates every year in an international high school robotics competition, called FIRST.

“Since we’re a non-school affiliated club, and ever since COVID, the club has been losing lots of people,” senior member Joey Johnson said. “Therefore, we were all learning, not just the seniors teaching the underclassmen.”

According to senior David Geldmacher, who drove the robot, the team only had about two months to prepare, and only finished it two days before the tournament, which left them just enough time to check all the systems and make last-minute repairs.

“We were a little behind, but we were still optimistic and excited to compete,” Geldmacher said.

This year’s event, “Crescendo,” was played on teams of three bots for both the “red alliance” team and the “blue alliance” team, and featured music-themed objectives for the bots to complete.

Bots could gain points offensively by picking up orange rings, or “notes,” and launching them into the “amp” slot or the six-sided “speaker” on their side of the course.

Some teams took up a more defensive strategy, designing bots that were meant to block notes or bump into other bots.

In the last few seconds of the match, the bot could get “on stage” by pulling itself up onto a chain near the center of the arena. If more than one bot was on the chain, the alliance earned more points.

Members of the robotics teams could also increase the number of points their bot earned by tossing a note onto a post directly above where their bot was on stage, earning a “spotlight.”

According to

Johnson, the team ran tests on replica design models to figure out the most point-efficient way to design their bot.

“[Initially,] we wanted the robot to score notes into the amp, because we thought it would be easier,” Johnson said, “but, when we made a replica amp, and tested it out, it was a lot harder than we thought.”

The team opted to add a bumper to the top of their robot, which allowed them to catch notes and accurately line up shots for both the amp and the speaker.

Their final rank was 26 out of 45, with 5 wins and 7 losses.

Essner said that the team’s approach in the competition was never really to win, but to learn, and grow their STEM skills as well as social and team management skills.

“It was an incredible opportunity to work with something so advanced, yet still understand how it works,” Geldmacher said.

Although they weren’t in it to win, the team still did well and won an award for assists, and a Dean’s List Award.

“One aspect of our competition that we always do well in and won the award for this year is helping other teams,” Essner said. “The Gracious Professionalism award was something I was very proud we won, considering what it says about the kind of mindset our team has and how we behave at competition.”