Written by Amanda Davis, staff writer
DAYTON, TN. — The Bryan College Robotics club is a student-led organization dedicated to innovation. Starting this semester, the club provides a great opportunity for students to grow in their teamwork and technical skills. The club is split into three different teams that work on individual projects that hone each student’s individual skills. Having a low-stress entry, the club can compete with each other and build comradery.
The three club teams form their own schedule for when they meet, and the entire club congregates once a month. Although they currently do not attend any tournaments, they are planning on holding fundraisers and Bryan tournaments throughout the year. In the Spring semester of 2022, the club is potentially attending a State Tournament. The club has completed two robot builds so far and has plans for many more builds. The club’s president is Chandler Hinson, and the club staff advisor is Dr. John Knowles.
Chandler Hinson, a junior mechanical engineering major, founded the club because he saw a great interest in robotics and a great need for new clubs. Hinson believes that “Robotics isn’t just a club, it’s a place where teamwork, creativity, and hands-on learning come to life. The club itself is made for the students by the students. The schedule is made to be very individualized, and the experience needed to join is virtually zero. The club has something for everyone to enjoy.”
Raelynne Van Heukelem, a sophomore biomedical engineering major, enjoys the teamwork and opportunities that the robotics club represents. It provides a great opportunity to network with people in robotics and engineering fields and to develop skills such as problem-solving and a greater understanding of engineering. “Everyone wants to be there, and everyone is there for a reason,” states Van Heukelem. She greatly values how versatile robotics is and claims almost anyone can have a part they can perform in the club.
Zane Gates, a dual-enrolled mechanical engineering major, believes the robotics club helps prepare one for a career and beyond. It teaches people how to work well under pressure and to expand their understanding of engineering. “It gives you experience with building and potentially programming the robots. You will be on a team of four people that almost definitely will build teamwork,” says Gates. It’s a low-pressure environment that also prepares you to succeed.
The Robotics Club is holding an ongoing fundraiser in the Student Life Center, where students can receive their own 3d pumpkins made by the club and a small donation is acceptable. They recently appeared at Pumpkinfest in Dayton, TN and have many more plans for other events. Anyone who is interested in joining can contact Hinson, Dr. Knowles, or Van Heukelem for more information.
Amanda Davis is a freshman communications major and creative writing minor at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City Native and loves reading, writing, and photography.