Two captains from the local robotics team shared their impressions on how the team influenced their career decisions, and what it means to represent Team 4063 and the community of Del Rio.
Safety Captain Clarissa Gonzalez and Electrical Head Captain Amara Coleman are two of the 11 that make up the captain roster for the 2020 season. Each captain supervises two different aspects of Team 4063, also known as the “Bunnies” or TrikZr4KidZ.
Gonzalez’s role consists of making sure her teammates are wearing the proper gear during practice and competition. Yet, her duties increase during competition as she reminds fellow competitors to be safe throughout the day, she said.
Coleman makes sure the team’s robot has a wiring design with easy access, as the electrical group works alongside the construction group during this process. During competition, Coleman believes she will be spending more time in the pit area providing support for troubleshooting and other aspects of her title.
Both girls grew up with different career paths in mind, Gonzalez’s goal was to become a veterinarian and Coleman liked engineering.
Robotics introduced different possibilities to both captains, and they both discovered there is much more to robotics than just engineering.
The Bunnies have a reputation within the community of For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology, also known as FIRST. Part of that reputation comes from the strong support from the community, according to both captains.
“We’re lucky and privileged to have what we have thanks to our school district. A lot of the teams work out of garages and they don’t have coaches; it’s the students pushing for STEM in their schools,” Electrical Captain Amara Coleman said.
Now, the team prepares for its first 2020 competition, which will take place in Del Rio on Mar. 7-8. Both captains feel the pressure, and believe it will be a matter of how quick the team can adapt and complete the robot before the competition.
“To have so many people come; to have every hotel in Del Rio filled with people, just to come watch robots … now people know,” Coleman said.
The fact more people will go watch the robotics competition this year, to go see the Bunnies compete, creates a bigger spotlight on the team, Coleman said.
Clarissa Gonzalez’s parents didn’t have a clear idea of what a robotics competition entails, until they attended the one in Del Rio, she said.
“I got a lot of that (similar reaction) when I went to presentations at the elementary and middle schools,” Gonzalez said.
“There’s no other way to get the experience of being at a FIRST competition, other than going to one,” Amara Coleman said.
Both girls expect more Del Rioans, including children, attend the upcoming competition at Del Rio High School in March.