Milpitas High School’s Xtreme Robotics club hosted the 2019 Robotika Summer Camp for elementary and middle school students. On July 26, the club’s officers organized a tournament for the students to put the fruits of their labor to the test. The tournament took place in the San Jose City College Extension, next to Thomas Russell Middle School.
The high school club was founded in 2002, and did very well in competitions for a couple years after its conception, according to current President Chloe Wang. However, after key club members graduated, it became inactive for close to a decade. Around 2015, the club was repurposed, and soon began entering competitions again. The members found success, as they began coding again and learning robotics. Now, the club participates in five competitions each year.
During the summer camp, campers were broken up into groups of two-to-five members. Each group was responsible for creating a small smart car, with the help of officers and other volunteers from Milpitas Xtreme Robotics. The tournament on the 26th pitted teams against one another to see which team had built the best robot.
“There are small teams; each of them are anywhere from two-to-five members large and they have all created their own robots with Arduinos, a type of mini-computer,” Wang said. “They are all going to take their robots in that rink over there and play the game that we created.”
There were two groups in particular was unique from the others— each of these two were made up of three girls. After speaking to one of these groups, it seemed that they were encouraged by the prospect of more diversity in the tech field, and felt that things were changing when it came to girls pursuing STEM.
“I actually think it’s really good that people in general are going into technology, especially girls and people of different cultures,” said one of the team members.