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The gears have started moving

The Gearheads pose with enthusiasm as they celebrate their second place victory at the world robotics competition. Courtesy of Jack Somers.

After a long trip to Texas and a few weeks of preparing and competing with teams from all over the world, the Grosse Pointe South and North’s robotics team, the Gearheads, came out in second at the world championship for robotics.

Making it to a world championship is a very impressive accomplishment no matter what place you get in. But even so it can be agitating when there’s hope that you may nearly win, only to come in second to another team. Eric Kolowski-Mcleod ’25, a first year member of Gearheads,expressed that although he may be disappointed that they are not the champions, he is still grateful to even be able to come and compete in the competition.

“The loss definitely stung for our team a bit, but from the way we saw it, our team was never supposed to make it to world finals in the first place,” Kolowski-Mcleod said. “So while a win was a hair away, simply making it was already making team history.”

Like Kolowski-Mcleod said, just making it was enough to satisfy the Gearheads hunger for competition. But this would not have been possible without the great teamwork and cooperation of other teams that were a part of their alliance for the championship. Drew Behringer ’24, a long time member of the Gearheads, said it was great working with teams that have had such good luck in competitions before and it was an amazing experience to learn from them and compete with them.

“Working with our alliance partners was brilliant, they truly proved why they’re the teams to beat every single year,” Behringer said. “We learned so much from them and while we felt the intensity the whole time along with the pressure to win, they were incredibly supportive and kept our spirits high while we fought to compete with some of the best in the world.”

As great as it is working with other students and teams, one of the most integral parts of the Gearheads team is the adult mentors that have guided the Gearheads throughout their career. One of the most influential mentors is Lead Mentor Jeffery Santrock who stated that much of the accomplishments of the Gearheads was guided by the adult members and volunteers like mathematics and technology instructor Jack Pierick who has played a crucial role in the Gearheads and always brings much enthusiasm when working with everybody. Santrock said people like Pierick who take time out of their schedule to ensure the success of the robotics team is why they were able to do so well and hopes this will help the students of the team to reach their full potential.

“The success of the Gearheads on and off the playing field is the result of a number of dedicated and enthusiastic adult mentors who volunteer their time to help students achieve their goals,” Santrock said. “I am more proud that involvement in the Gearheads has helped students focus their interests in traditional STEM and other fields so that they are more prepared to achieve their career goals.”

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About the Contributor
Ronin McCracken '26
Ronin McCracken '26, Staff Writer
Drawing. Painting. Printmaking. Photography. After a summer spent unleashing his creativity through every possible medium, Ronin McCracken ’26 is ready to take on a brand new one: journalism. As a first year staff writer for The Tower, McCracken isn’t sure what he wants to write just yet, but he’s looking forward to voicing his thoughts in opinion stories in the coming year. “If I see a story that I like, I’ll just try to do that the best I can,” McCracken said. When he isn’t making art or chasing down his next big story, McCracken can be found with a controller in hand, fighting his way out of yet another Mortal Kombat chapter beside his closest friends. An avid gamer for many years, McCracken said he can hardly remember a time without a console. “I remember having a Wii when I was really little,” McCracken said. “We still have it, but it’s not even usable anymore. That was probably the first time I ever played a video game--I don’t even know how young.”

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