The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

The Student News Site of Rhinebeck High School

Rhinebeck Reality

Students Create Robotics Club

Joslan Carter
The Robotics Club works on coding and building – from left to right: Monica Zimmers, Mason Decker, Kaia Rouse, Brandon Martinez, Beatrice MacDonald, Zsuzsi Moore, Ray Eckert, and Harry Sean Whidbee.

On a Thursday afternoon, voices fill the Innovation Hub. Student projects can be found around the room with groups of students around each one. Blueprints and building blocks are across the tables. The new Robotics Club has begun!

The Rhinebeck High School Robotics Club was founded by sophomores Kaia Rouse, Zsuzsi Moore, Ellie Firestone, and Beartrice Macdonald, advised by math teacher Monica Zimmers.

“Over the summer we met up with the Red Hook robotics [RoboticRaiders] at the fair because we had friends on the team,” Kaia said.

After being introduced to Red Hook’s equipment and competitions, Kaia and Zsuzsi decided to found a club at our school, getting Beatrice and Ellie to help them in this pursuit.

Officially approved around March of this year, the group has met weekly in the Innovation Hub (a new space that was officially opened April 10th to encourage creativity and hands-on learning) thus far.

The students are using block coding (such as Scratch) on LEGO robots for the May 3rd Robotics Convention hosted by the PTSO.

The Robotics Club’s LEGO Robots

While this year the club is aiming to fundraise and get their feet off the ground, they hope to eventually be able to participate in competitions like the RoboRaiders.

“If we get to a level that a lot of students want to, which is being competitive, then it’s a whole engineering process of building robots, making adjustments, learning how to code it, and then just being competitive and working collaboratively.” Zimmers shared.

Another interesting aspect of the Robotics Club is that it is female founded and led, something that is not very common in the STEM field.

According to the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, in 2023, only about a third (35%) of those employed in the STEM workforce were women. Our robotics group founded and led by women is very promising for the future of STEM.

The Robotics Club meets Thursdays after school in the Innovation Hub; if you are interested in coding, robotics, or STEM in general, come and check it out!

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