Members of Ferradermis, Whitewater High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition Team, have been working tirelessly since learning of the 2024 game requirements at the season kickoff event on January 6. On Sunday, February 18, they were able to put their invention on a full field for the first time at the Sussex Week 0 Scrimmage at Sussex Hamilton High School.

The team’s robot this year measures 26x26 inches and weighs approximately 120 pounds. The drive train is a swerve drive, which allows the robot to go in any direction facing any position at any time. The game piece (an orange foam ring) is picked up from the ground using a 4-bar linkage intake, which is then placed into the shooter. The shooter is on an elevator and arm which allows it to rise up and down and rotate, giving the robot almost full control of the shooting and scoring positions. 

In addition to playing practice matches at Sussex, members of Ferradermis were able to attend morning workshops for Dean’s List candidates, Impact presentation preparation, and match scouting ideas.  During matches, students not in the pit or on the drive team were in the stands testing the scouting system the team will be using at competition.

Members of Ferradermis will leave for their first Regional event in Duluth on February 28. Two weeks later, they will be competing in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Regional, and over Spring Break they will be in Chicago for the Midwest Regional. Each regional hosts 50-60 teams, and the Chicago event will feature teams from 6 countries and 10 states. Four teams from each regional will qualify for Championships in Houston in mid-April.

Are you a supporter of the robotics program in the Whitewater Unified School District? If so, consider joining an organizational meeting for the new WUSD Robotics Booster Club on Tuesday, February 20, at 6:00 pm in Room 301 at the high school. Enter through Door #38 for the meeting. The Booster Club’s goals are to find ways to help support FIRST Lego League Challenge programs in 4th and 5th grade, the new FIRST Tech Challenge Team forming at the middle school in the fall, and the Ferradermis FIRST Robotics Competition Team at the high school. For questions about the Booster Club, reach out to Sue Wildermuth at wilderms@uww.edu.