‘Future leaders’ from Girard team make future bright

“Girard Robotics qualifies for worlds.”

The Tribune Chronicle headline sounded surreal.

But indeed it is not. In fact, it is so real that it has happened an amazing 11 times in the last 19 years for Girard’s Robotics team. This year, the RoboCats qualified to perform April 25-28 at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Detroit. The team’s coach put the thrill into simple words when she called it “darn amazing” and “blessed.”

We agree and are so proud of these students.

We also are amazed at the efforts that go into the coaching, mentoring and advising, along with the educational process and certainly the value of what these kids take away.

Robotics team members develop a broad set of skills, from the hands-on engineering experience of designing and operating the robot to the analytical skills required to scout competitors and potential alliance members to the communication abilities needed to talk with the judges.

And when competing in the Buckeye Regional competition over spring break, this Girard team also captured the Gracious Professionalism Award, which recognized the team for its community service and outreach programs, and also the Safety Award, which recognized teams that go beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.

This is about way more than competing with robots.

As head coach Judy Barber put it, “One of our mottos is ‘more than robots’ or ‘we’re about more than robots.’ We’re building the leaders of tomorrow.”

With leaders like this, our future is looking pretty bright.