“I like to be in an activity where you can use your mind and prepare for a career,” says Gabriel Gottlieb.

Gottlieb is team captain for the Hollywood Hills High School “Spartrons”, the robotics program which is considered one of the most successful clubs at the school. The team recently won first place overall at a SECME-STEM Olympiad. The club entered two teams in the bottle rocket competition, and earned first and second place respectively. They took second place in the mouse trap car competition, second place in the generator competition, and first place in the balsa bridge event. They also competed in other categories including the bionic hand, essay and poster competitions.

The team has also done well in regional competitions throughout Florida. Last year the Spartrons traveled to participate in an international competition in St. Louis. These meets are unlike other School competitions in that the students are given a six week deadline to build a robot from scratch.

“This gives us a chance to use real work applications and we have to work together as a team to build a robot. We do all the manufacturing work and write the code to program the robot,” said Scott Matranga, project director. “We are developing engineering skills.”

The robot must be capable of completing various challenges. These vary from navigating obstacle courses to aiming and throwing a ball into a target. When the Spartrons arrive at a competition, they have to work together with another team. They must adapt to work effectively with others in a short amount of time.

Deb Houts, the Spartrons sponsor is very proud of the work the team members have done over the years and believes the team will continue to be successful.

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David Volz has been a reporter for Hollywood Gazette since 2011 and has worked for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades including the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He is a Professor in the Business department at Broward College and the editor of the Coral Springs Connection, an online community news website. He covers city government, schools, sports events, cultural activities, faith groups and workplaces.


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