Electronic Eagles look to grow robotics club at El Camino

By Elvira Hurtado, Managing Editor

The El Camino Robotics Club is run by Captain Hunter Witham (‘20) and Co-Captain Gannon Brady (‘20) and they have just finished their competition season. This club is fairly new, only in its second year. Originally it was known as the Science Olympiad, but Witham, Brady and their advisor, Physics teacher Krystal Sy, decided to do robotics instead. They intend to continue the team into their senior year and for the foreseeable future.

The Electronic Eagles competition to build a robot started in January, and the competing teams were given six weeks to build a robot, making their due date Feb. 9. The main event at the UC Davis Colosseum, however, took place from Feb. 27 to Apr. 13.

Witham and Brady both specify their roles in building the robot, saying that Brady is the programmer and drives the robot at the competitions. While Witham does the wiring on the robot. “[Our] main roles are to lead the other students. We take charge most of the time. It’s us and the advisor. A lot of the big decisions, in a sense, are made by us,” Witham says.

They feel that they’ve grown with experience and found that working with a more experienced team in Davis was beneficial, the team “make[s] it to championships on a yearly basis,” Witham said.

The ECHS Robotics team competed at UC Davis. They built a robot in six weeks
The ECHS Robotics team competed at UC Davis. They built a robot in six weeks. Photo courtesy of Robotics Club

At first they found the programming and learning experience to be difficult, “a lot of the things they taught us might as well have been rocket science to us at first because it made no sense,” But now that they have experience, “it seems pretty simple.”

Both Witham and Brady mention that this competition is also based on cooperation with other teams. “It’s in your best interest to help everyone,” says Witham. The experience isn’t super stressful, “there’s music and dancing.”

Unfortunately, the team did not win, but they did do their best. “[And] that’s all that really matters,” said Witham.

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