FAST and Robotics clubs take off at FHS

Karter Murphy

Most people are aware of the FAST and Robotics clubs at FHS. There are several posters and past announcements that advertise them; however, not everyone is aware of what these clubs do.

Fast members with a model rocket they built (from L to R: Mark Karasik, Spencer Katz, Eli Hamaker)

Robotics primarily focuses on building robots. They use these robots to compete in games, challenges, and tournaments they attend. At these tournaments they get checked in, sign up for time slots, pair with another team, and battle teams 2v2. There are also “skills” events. These are events in which people don’t compete against other teams, but are given a time limit to score points with the robot they built on a rubber playing field. Currently, the team is already qualified for state as they’ve won a regional competition, but are hoping to win at state next so they can qualify for “world” (VEX Robotic World Championship). As of publication, their next tournament will be Dec 3, 2022, in Bentonville West. Robotics typically meets during advisory and after school in room 2208. When asking a robotics member, Ben Hazelip, what he did during robotics he explained how he was a driver for his team. Today he was practicing making sure he can pick up items with their robot and testing the intake and flywheel (how they get objects into the goal).

Ben Shepherd (Robotics Club memeber) driving a robot

On the other hand, FAST, which stands for Fayetteville Aeronautics and Space Team, works with anything that flies. Eli Hamaker, who is regarded by multiple members as the unofficial club president, says “You should join FAST if you’re interested in rockets, or drones, or anything that flies.” He elaborates that they would work on anything that flies, for example, gliders and airplanes, as long as someone is interested. Currently, they work with model rockets, drones, and are stepping into high-powered rockets soon. To make these things they design them in CAD and use 3D printing. In FAST they also prepare for competitions, specifically the American Rocket Competition. For their rocket competitions, they have to get their rocket to meet specific height and time requirements. The further away you are from those set times/heights the more points you gain. The team with the least amount of points moves on to the next round. Eli says competitions for his team, Vulcan, are usually once a month.

Ben Hazelip (another Robotics Club member) driving a robot

However, my personal favorite part of both these clubs is the large Millenium Falcon replica hanging from the ceiling that was supposedly found in a dumpster. If it, or anything in this article, also interests you then you are heavily encouraged to join Robotics or FAST. As Eli Hamaker said, “we do cool stuff in FAST and robotics.”