How We’re Staying Connected During the Pandemic

As the 2020 robotics season came to a close with an unexpected turn of events, our teams missed out on the final experiences of the year they often look forward to. For two of our VEX teams, it meant missing the last exhibition at the annual Youth Fair. For our MATE team, it meant the cancellation of the only regional competition of the year altogether. For the Booster Club and dedicated student volunteers, it meant the loss of our biggest fundraiser ahead of next year’s season. There was no final celebration in the engineering lab, where we would usually celebrate our teams’ amazing accomplishments, give our seniors a final sendoff, hand out awards, and announce our new cabinet. But the Makos prevail.

After the closing of schools, Zoom quickly became our roundtable, hosting our classroom, our meetings, our celebrations. Before long, our student officers had carefully selected a new cabinet from several qualified candidates, including a new position overseeing what we are optimistic will become a new chapter of the International Robotics Honor Society. A new cabinet was announced, playful superlatives were awarded, and our performance during the year was evaluated as our dedicated members came together virtually for the last time to conclude the 2019-2020 season at Mast.

Regardless of the uncertainty of next season given the unprecedented times in which we live, our team is already hard at work to be more prepared than ever for what may lie ahead. Teams are gradually reorganizing as we say goodbye to our seniors and prepare for new students and talented Middle Makos who will be joining their peers on our high school teams. Meanwhile, our older students are deep in discussions about new designs, inventory, and parts lists for the new VEX challenge. After careful planning, mockups, models, and the much appreciated support from our boosters, a few of our students have even been able to retrieve the left over parts from this years’ robots to begin basic preparations for new, innovative designs.

Through it all, our devoted Booster Club and student cabinets have been committed to continuous communication and transparency, allowing each to work harmoniously with the other. Whether it’s proposing new fundraising ideas, approving new designs, or just getting more involved, the Mecha Makos always strive for greatness and the constant drive for improvement that comes with it. With all the hardships that this year brought as well as whatever we will soon face, it would have been too easy to admit defeat, but that is not the Mako way. We are no strangers to obstacles, and as a team, we see this time as an opportunity rather than a burden because we know we’re up for the challenge.

By Valerie Moura

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