Firebird Sprockets robotics team looks to build on success

A handful of Phoenix Central School District students are putting their engineering skills to the test as members of the Firebird Sprockets robotics team.

The team is comprised of Matt Doane, Jonah Hawthorne, Sheridan Southworth, Ellie Lamath, Cole Bailer and Hannah Brooker. Members work to build a game-playing robot that completes various tasks in competitions against other high school student-led teams. They are judged and scored on a variety of criteria, and the top teams compete against one another in elimination rounds.

In December, the Firebird Sprockets participated in a qualifier competition in Sauquoit. The team said they were happy with their performance and are looking to tweak the robot for its next competition.

“Our main goal going into the competition was to do better than last year, and we did that,” said Doane. “We did really well with the programming and some of the engineering, but there is room for improvement.”

The team will track their progress and record their ideas in an engineering notebook, which factors into the judging criteria during competitions. Regardless of outcome, the team noted that they were having fun while learning a lot about the STEM fields.

For more information about the robotics program or how to get involved next year, contact Rob Southworth at