MAST Academy has always been known as a beacon of excellence, and the robotics team is no exception. The Mecha Makos robotics program is known for reaching levels of excellence such as Nationals or Worlds in robotics competitions, but this year they outdid themselves.
Mecha Makos competes in various robotics programs, including VEX, FTC, and TSA. The newest team in the Mecha Makos program, which competes in the Ten80 robotics racing event, was just created this year and has already made it to Nationals.
The Ten80 robotics competition is one of the newest in the country. The students build and modify cars to race, but the competition also has an entrepreneur side to it.
In addition to the car construction, the team had to develop a marketing plan that included sales pitches and what the car would visually look like with the sponsors on it as if it were an actual race car. The object of the competition is to test different car designs to see which one works best on a road course, drag strip, and data-driven challenge. Additionally, the design of the car is judged.
A district-wide initiative to make this competition available to schools made its way to MAST, thus the team was founded. The United States Army initially funded the Ten80 teams of multiple schools, including MAST’s. Since then, Mecha Makos has received more grants, such as the UTD President grant, and gained the ability to purchase six additional cars.
There are a total of seven Mecha Makos Ten80 teams, six of which meet during class time, and one of which meets after school. The team that meets after school hours, led by sophomore William Fairman, is fully comprised of underclassmen.
This is the team that placed third in the local pre-qualifier competition, which made it possible for them to qualify for Nationals.