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The Extraordinary Engineering Club

The initial designs may begin with meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in a small science room, but the final products have spread into the community, and even the national news.
BEST Robotics Competition (Made To Order) 2022, Team number 1307
BEST Robotics Competition (Made To Order) 2022, Team number 1307

This fall is the engineering club’s fourteenth year competing. Usually, the engineering club participates in the Rocky Mountain BEST Robotics Competition, which typically lasts eight weeks from September through December.

Prior to the competition, teams create an engineering notebook with a detailed description about building their robot. This competition entails 1) building a robot and presenting their design to a panel of judges, 2) making an engineering notebook describing how they created that robot, 3) and creating an 8x8x8 exhibit and a marketing presentation for about twenty five minutes.

The members’ robots will then compete against other schools’ robots in the same challenges. However, this isn’t the only competition the club competes in; they also participate in the CyberStart Cybersecurity Competition in November.

The club just recently won the Rocky Mountain MESA competition at the Colorado School of Mines with Ethan Dorman, Landon Wood, Gloria Erickson, and Coleman Eschenbrenner.

A typical competition day, Katy Garamfel said, “Almost always involve[s] a pep talk with Ethan.” Ethan Dorman was the leader of the Engineering club – he also used to be the president of the club before it switched to the system of electing officers.

During the competition when the team won nationals, all four members conducted their good luck ritual of shaking every limb eight times, and then counting down from there.

The members of the club looked up to many mentors: Ms. Funk, Mr. Keller, Mr. Leonard, Ms. Vidulich, and Ms. Dykstra. A traditional day in the club began with fun icebreakers and snacking. Then, Dorman gave an overview of the week and the competitions that were coming up. Particularly, the BEST Robotics Competition.

During the overview, the officers (student leaders of the club) discussed their number one priority with the group during competitions: safety. To be in “the pit,” where there are many power tools, members must wear safety goggles and take proper precautions.

They also tell new members that they are encouraged and allowed to observe and ask about other teams’ robots at the competition because it is a friendly competition, and teams are there to learn about one another’s robots.

Loraina Brady (senior at BHS)

There are many teams that work together to win competitions. Although when Loraina Brady (‘24), a two-year member and current officer, was asked which areas engineering club could improve on, she said, “I think it’s communication. Last year, there were a lot of times where the marketing team lost because the other teams weren’t communicating, and it’s worth a lot of points.”

Her goal for the club is to place top three at the regional championship because last year the club lost at regionals.

When she was asked if the engineering club is underrepresented at BrHS she said, “Definitely. We get a lot of awards and no one really recognizes the things that we do.”

When asked if the club deserves a trophy case she said, “I definitely think it should. We can fill it out with only how much we have from last year.”

To describe her experience, Brady said, “I would say it’s been fairly good. At first, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’ve never done anything like this before. I joined in the middle of competitions.”

Aster Defrancesco (‘26), a current officer of the club and a member last year, prefers being an officer over a member. He said, “I enjoy having executive power to determine what direction the club goes in.”

It’s easy to be a member of the club, but some wish to be officers. To become an officer, participants have to be a club member for one year, fill out an application, give a speech, and then members vote for who they want to be an officer.

Defrancesco also stated, “My future career depends on science and engineering.”

Ethan Dorman, Landon Wood, Coleman Eschenbrenner, Gloria Erickson, Mr. Kellar at the MESA competition 2023

Defrancesco learned more about working in groups through the club. Brady has had a similar experience, but she had a very memorable and captivating speech this year when she applied to be an officer and won over the crowd.

Although it may not be for everyone, Engineering Club provides a collaborative and inspiring environment for those looking to pursue careers in STEM. The club is now looking for new members to take on new roles and would be eager to meet new participants.

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About the Contributor
Annabel Larson is a sophomore at Broomfield High and this is her first year at the Eagle Way News. During the summer, Annabel helps neighbors run summer camps for kids of all ages. She enjoys being outside and being with friends and family. Annabel is the oldest in her family, and has two little brothers. Annabel is also involved in Women’s Leadership and Mock Trial at Broomfield High School. Through the newspaper, she hopes to improve her writing and interviewing skills. And in class, she enjoys writing stories about different clubs at Broomfield High.

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