Cornell Tech STEM CENTER: Lagbotics Team

May 9, 2020

Lagbotics is the FTC robotics team from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, and one of the few STEM-related clubs within the school. The team is made up of a diverse group of students passionate about robotics and competition. This year’s team leadership is made up of Curtis Kline and Alex Pusey. Next year, the team will be led by Baiwen Zheng and Kian Zamanzadeh.

When I joined the club in 2019 during my freshman year, I was super excited to build, code, and learn. However, when I joined, it was hard to get started on building those skills as the club was going through a massive rough patch. While the club had been in existence for 9 years, it had stayed “underground” from the beginning. To change things, we decided to publicize Lagbotics on social media and advertise with posters to raise awareness at our club fair (for the first time).

As a result, we grew from a team of 5 to nearly 20 members, allowing us to restructure our team to get competition ready for the qualifiers. These early competitions allowed us to realize what other teams were successfully doing and what we weren’t: having mentors, having a proper workshop, and putting in the time to design and build. Following these competitions, we focused our energy on these things, as well as fundraising to buy a new kit of parts. 

At the NYC FIRST STEM Center at Cornell Tech, we gained access to high-quality machines, such as the 3D printers and a Laser Cutter for the first time and were able to create customized parts for our robot using a variety of tools and softwares, such as Autodesk Fusion 360!

Our team was also able to work in an environment where we had had access to mentors. As a beginner to robotics, I was amazed by how many tools and machines the STEM Center had. I learned the basics of engineering by observing my team and the other teams by continuously asking questions, and actively participating in building a robot. Beyond making 3D printed parts, our team members were able to take on Autodesk Fusion 360, which offers a free education license. After watching some tutorials and having mentoring by the NYC FIRST staff, our team created CAD models of the robot we intended to build. We made our design changes on the computer first and then built the robot accordingly.

Before Going to Cornell Tech:

This is our first robot from our Qualifier in November 2019

After Going to Cornell Tech: