Team 696 competes in their first competition of the year


Serineh Ohanian

The 696 team works on the robot during the competition to make sure all parts of the mechanism are functioning properly.

Serineh Ohanian, Staff Writer

The Robotics Team 696, the Circuit Breakers, competed against 57 other teams from all over California in the Los Angeles North Regional Robotics Competition in Thousand Oaks, California on Feb. 29. Although the 696 team only made it to the second round, their sophisticated mechanism earned them an Excellence in Engineering Award from the judges.

Every week since January, under the guidance of engineering teacher David Black, the Clark robotics team met after school and during the weekends to prepare for the first stage of the robotics season kickoff. “We had two weeks less than we typically do to design, construct and program the robot,” said Team 696 Designer senior Gabriella Scott. “This just made it even more difficult to fix all the errors in the robot to be prepared for the competition.” 

Senior Allyson Mccullagh, the engineer of the robotic ladder, said the hard work the team spent perfecting the machine paid off during competition. “Our robot was one of the only ones that successfully calibrated to release the ladder at the correct time,” Mccullagh said.

At the competition, the members of The Circuit Breakers had to stay on top of their game and perform their best. “A team needs to be well organized and very professional to do well,” Scott said. “Although we had drastically decreased the size of the team this year, I think that really helped the team have better chemistry and collaborate more effectively with one another,” 

The second round of the competition proved to be more challenging for the team. Senior Anthony Tarbinian explained that this was due to the robot not calibrating correctly to throw the ball into the hoop. Unfortunately, the team was eliminated in this round. “I wasn’t happy that we ranked so low but if we fix a few engineering mistakes we will be sure to win our next competition,” Tarbinian said. 

The 696 robotics team originally planned to compete in the regional competitions in Fairfax, Ariz. on March 13. However, due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, all of the robotics team competitions have been canceled.