Becton’s Robotics Club places first at SBJC Innovation Fair

The Light Savior was created by Becton’s Robotics students.

Becton Regional High School’s Robotics Club had its first victory of the year at the South Bergen Jointure Robotics Innovation Fair held on April 25 in the Becton gymnasium.

“It felt great to host this event,” stated Superintendent Mrs. Clarke who volunteered BRHS to be the location for the fair. Mrs. Clarke has been working with the South Bergen Jointure since she started her position at Becton and deemed the school to be the “perfect venue” for this type of event. “It is the first home fair where students can show off their abilities to be inventive,” she said.

The Innovation Fair is an event where robotics teams from various schools are given the opportunity to display their robotic inventions and later compete in a tournament against rival teams. Clubs from different schools set up stations where their inventions could be exhibited for fellow students, teachers and judges to admire. Several of the surrounding towns that were in attendance include Bogota, Wood-Ridge, Hasbrouck Heights and South Hackensack.

The “Bectobots” remained undefeated throughout every round of the competition and won the overall championship game. At the STEM event, the objective was for each robot to throw a jack over a fence in the arena. They also placed first for their invention idea, a robot nicknamed “The Light Savior,” which had a giant arm that was able to pick up objects. “They did a fantastic job!” exclaimed Robotics Club Adviser and Science Instructor Mrs. Mackanin. 

…I enjoy watching how they pull together as a team.”

— Mrs. Mackanin

Mrs. Mackanin explained that the robot the club uses comes in a kit that must be assembled according to what task it is meant to complete in the match. “If it has to pick something up, our students have to design how the robot will do it based on what it has to pick up and then what it needs to do once it has it,” she elaborated.

“I think that the best and strongest thing that I have seen from this team is their bond with each other and their sense of teamwork,” said Mrs. Mackanin. She mentioned that whenever the team runs into any problems, there is always a student that helps everyone out. The science teacher enjoys watching her students succeed and predicts that club members such as Bhargin Kanani, Dhwani Kanani, Dylan Valenzuela and Jenish Vaghani will continue to participate in STEM-related activities in the future.

“When preparing for upcoming competitions, Robotics Club participants each take on separate roles,” noted the club adviser. For example, some students are engineers that design, while others are mechanics that build and repair the machines. Some are programmers who program the robots to operate without being remote controlled, and other students assist with fundraising for the club.

While she does not help the students too much when they are building their robot, Mrs. Mackanin lets them troubleshoot and solve their issues together as a team. “Whether they win or lose, I enjoy watching how they pull together as a team,” she said.