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Your time: Robotics Club, Northampton High School

  • NHS parent Scott Barton, left, junior Jonah Klein-Barton, seated,  freshman Charlie Western, right.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Sketching ideas.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • NHS junior Ben Tidswell.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • NHS sophomore Daniel Belkin and mechanical engineer Whitney McMackin of Northampton.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • NHS junior Jonah Klein-Barton.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Mechanical engineer Whitney McMackin, left, of Northampton and NHS sophomore Daniel Belkin.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • NHS sophomore Daniel Belkin, left, and engineering mentor Keith Davis of Northampton.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Engineering mentor Keith Davis, left, of Northampton and NHS sophomore Jonathan Minoff.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The group strategizes.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

At last year’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) regional robotics competition in Worcester, the newly created Northampton High School robotics club was the highest-placing rookie team and won the Inspiration Award. Now, to meet the FIRST 2013 challenge, titled “Ultimate Ascent,” the club is working six days a week under a six-week deadline to design and build a robot that can toss flying discs into a goal and then climb a pyramid.

Last Saturday at the high school, a dozen or so club members were hard at work assembling a throwing mechanism for the robot and brainstorming other critical tasks. On hand to provide advice and encouragement were several parents, a Hampshire College student mentor with competition experience, and an engineering mentor, Keith Davis of Northampton, who brought a co-worker, engineer Whitney McMackin of Northampton, to lend a critical eye to the design process.

To suggest a subject for Your Time, email Suzanne Wilson at swilson@gazettenet.com.

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