Freshman year at Carlsbad High, Shayda Moezzi decided to explore her interest in computer science and software engineering, so she joined The Robopuffs. Now as a senior, Moezzi has held the responsibility of Head of Software for three years, Robotics Club President for one year, and has recently committed to MIT for college.
As a team of 16 girls, The Robopuffs has grown in both membership and team success. But reaching new heights hasn't come without challenges. Over the years Moezzi has seen her team lose experienced seniors and has put in the work to build the team back up again.
“What first seemed like it could mark the end of our team, turned out to be a huge learning experience for all of us and the new members on the team,” Moezzi said. “In a way, losing seniors was a blessing in disguise because it allowed us to learn everything and develop a passion for what we do because it is literally hands on learning. Also, each year we have performed better and better.”
This year, The Robopuffs was able to create a fully autonomous robot. Using live sensor feedback, their robot could make its own decisions and complete tasks without human intervention. The team's progress is well-represented in their recent success at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) tournament on February 8, where the girls won 2nd place for the Inspire award. The Robopuffs' work doesn't end there- this year the team showcased their work not only at competitions, but at community events as well.
“My first year our robot was only able to do some of the game's tasks; this year, our robot was capable of accomplishing everything,” Moezzi said. “Because of this, we even created a second robot that we used solely for outreach and community building events!”
The Robopuffs' progress over the years largely results from the team's determined and committed mindset. CHS Robotics teams meet Tuesdays and Fridays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., but two days a week doesn’t always cut it- before competitions, The Robopuffs meet practically every day and even pull some all-nighters to get everything done.
“Yes it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a lot of hard work that pays off really well,” sophomore Josie Domo said. “You’re seeing exactly what you can do with your future, you’re seeing where you can apply skills that you have- especially with teamwork, building and programming- and it’s really just a fulfilling experience overall.”
Photos courtesy of The Robopuffs