A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Robotics Moves Off-Campus

   Northview began as a local high school with very few students, extracurriculars, and staff, but the stagnant school was to become one of the top public high schools in the nation–flooded with motivated students and spurred with innovation and ambition. In the years that followed, one of Northview’s most popular and successful extracurricular emerged–the robotics team. 

Recently, though, there has been a major change in the team’s normal function. The primary meeting place of the club has shifted from the trailers to an off-campus location behind Gokul Sweets, one of the first times in school history for such a renowned club to be moved off-campus. Before the change, the main meeting spot was in the trailers, these were removed as a result of a direct order from the county. 

“From 8:30 to 3:30, no one was in there,” Principle Brian Downey said. “So the district rightfully said that’s not a wise use of our money, so once that happened we were out of options.”

In the process of finding a different location, there was even doubt as to whether or not there would even be a robotics team for the following year. In hindsight, the Robotics team has always been a large club with many students to accommodate, but the administration and staff have been very helpful through the entire process. 

“After we lost our main room inside the school, it was Mr. Downey who tried to relocate us to a different position and we got the trailer. And then after we lost the trailer, he tried to keep us within the school. He tried to make sure that we were still a club within the school,” says Michelle Heo, president of the Techno Titans. “Mr. Downey is the one person in this school who actually saved our team from collapse.” 

Of course, the effect that this change will have on the team’s performance is yet to be seen. Last year, they won the entrepreneurship award at the international level because of the team’s unity and chemistry that has formed as a result of countless hours of practice, but Heo feels that this change will actually improve performance. 

“I think we’re gonna go stronger than ever. Now, we can operate under our own wills and I feel like that’s going to make us develop as a team,” Heo said. 

Theresa Dixon, a mentor for the Robotics team since 2012, echoes these sentiments. She sees this as an opportunity of growth for the team and understands the position that the staff at Northview were put in. 

“We understand that their hands were tied. When you don’t have space, you don’t have space. But they tried their hardest to help us get through this year and see what we can do in the future,” said Dixon. “We’re a team. We’ve been through obstacles before, we’ll get through it.”