Once a part of science fiction, robots are now a major part of our daily lives—especially for students.
Recently, Suncoast Polytechnical High School seniors Rafael Treminio, Armand Segui, Cannon Spencer and Quinn Coomer took part in a competition across the state, where their custom-built robots performed autonomous and remote-controlled tasks through coding in C++ VEX Pros.
Not only did they impress the judges with their technical know-how, the group took home the title. However, drama ensued when a piece of the team’s robot broke, forcing them to take a timeout and MacGyver a quick fix. While each piece of a robot has to be precise, they “eyeballed the cut and figured it out,” says Spencer, the team’s captain.
The group has been immersed in science and engineering since their early days at Brookside Middle School, where they shared a robotics class. They were instant experts, picking up multiple state championships along the way. Their success led them to making a pact to all attend the same high school. Since then, Team Blackout has earned more than 60 awards.
Quinn and Armand share an additional connection. They are both Barancik Scholars through Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County. The organization offers mentorship with the promise of a full scholarship to any in-state university and a pathway to a better life through education.
While college is still a ways away, the group has one more challenge to look forward to: they set their sites on Dallas where they will compete in the world robotics championship in May.