Bonners Ferry robotics team gearing up
November 30, 2012
Bonners Ferry High School Team 2130,
under the guidance of Coach Ed Katz, far
right, are already hard at work gearing
up for the 2013 First Robotics
By Sally Balcaen
One only has to step into the robotics
headquarters behind the middle school in Bonners
Ferry to see that the team is already hard at
work preparing for a new season. Even though
details of this season's
Competition (FRC) won't be released until
January, Bonners Ferry Robotics Team 2130 is
already gearing up to ensure a well-prepared
"The Varsity Sport for the Mind," FRC combines
the excitement of sport with the rigors of
science and technology.
Under strict rules limiting resources and
setting unforgiving time limits, teams of 25
students or more in grades nine through 12 are
challenged to raise funds, design a team
"brand," hone teamwork skills, build and program
a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a
field of competitors. It’s as close to
"real-world engineering" as a student can get.
Volunteer professional mentors lend their time
and talents to guide each team, and Team 2130 is
blessed to have some of the best.
Team 2130 is but one of more than 4,000 high
school teams in the region to be
competing for scholarships and the science,
engineering and technology skills that inspire
innovation and foster well-rounded life
capabilities including self-confidence,
communication, and leadership. Globally, FRC
involves more than 304,000 students in more than
29,000 teams, all competing for and sharing
almost $16-million in college scholarships.
It's not a competition the Bonners Ferry team
The programming team is starting out by becoming
familiar with coding the robot. The code ensures
that when a button on the remote control is
pushed, the robot moves correctly. They are
learning to program in a new programming
language called Java.
To get back on track and re-familiarize them
with the components of engineering, the
design/build team is re-designing a frame for
the Robotics t-shirt shooter. The t-shirt
shooter has been featured at numerous games and
events, most recently the Homecoming Game.
Unfortunately, due to some issues with the
robot’s frame, the team is redesigning a new
robot and, once finished, will begin building.
This is also a way to teach newcomers to the
robotics team the programs and how to use the
Right now, the animation team is practicing and
familiarizing themselves with the Autodesk
program, with the assistance of Pat Rogers.
This is the first year that Team 2130 will be
doing an animation video for the competition,
and the students have a lot to learn. The
animation is centered around safety in the work
zones when building the robots.
Their deadline for that is December 13, right
around the corner, thus keeping them busy.
The business team is working on a business plan
for the season and emailing other school
districts to arrange program presentations.
For the time being, the team is in the building
stages of getting together, learning the ropes,
and keeping their eyes on the approaching
kick-off, in anticipation of another highly
competitive season, and one to build on the
successes Team Bonners Ferry has enjoyed in the
To find out more or learn how you can
contribute, either as a donor or a mentor
sharing your experience and skill, contact team
coach Ed Katz by email at
Questions or comments about this
Click here to e-mail!