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Robotics team preps students for their future

A Muncie robotics team is using a hands on learning approach to help prepare high school students for their futures. PhyXTGears is made up of students from six different counties. 

While their season doesn’t start until the beginning of January, they’re recruiting students and mentors now.  

“If there’s any Ball State students who feel confident in what they’re doing in anything that’s like engineering, woodshop, programming or media, marketing, any of those skills like feel free to come here and try and mentor the students,” said Ashley Martin, Media Subteam Student Mentor.

She got involved in robotics in sixth grade and started on the mechanical team then switched gears to join the media team, which includes animation, photography, videography and website.

Now she’s a Ball State student majoring in marketing and mentoring students on the media team with PhyXTGears. 

“Honestly it means the world to me like it’s really crazy going from actually being the student and learning all these things to actually teaching students things. I mean it’s completely different mind set,” said Martin.

Every year the team has six weeks to build one hundred and twenty pound robot from scratch. They find out the first Saturday in January and start planning the robot for the game. All they know so far is that this year's theme is a space theme. 

Last year they went to the world championship in Detroit.

The goal is to score the most number of points. “[The games] take all of the STEM and STEAM fields and kind of put them into almost like a sports scenario,” said Shawn Van Ness, President of PhyXTGears.

“The game last year was involving what’s called power cubes, which were basically a covered milk crate and um it had to pick up these power cubes and place them on different level scales as well as putting them into a feeder station,” Van Ness.

If you’re interested in joining the team or becoming a mentor you can stop by and see the team on the second floor at Madjax on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-9 p.m.