Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

Dragonoids Robotic Reboot

Dragonoids Robotic Reboot

On a Friday afternoon, after a long week of classes, homework, and assessments, a pulse of excitement fills the STEAM shop as over 20 upper schoolers congregate to build robots, write code, and bond over slices of pizza. The room is buzzing with enthusiasm, and the atmosphere is electric. Exclamations of “It works!” fill the air. These are the Dragonoids, GFA’s robotics team, and they’re starting the 2023-2024 school year with a bold new vision. 

Robotics is a team endeavor, and under the leadership of senior co-captains, Charlotte Wagner and Neil Chaudhari, the Dragonoids have expanded from one to three teams. Charlotte Wagner, who was on GFA’s inaugural Middle School robotics team that made it to nationals, explained that the advantage of having three teams work on three separate robots is to increase their prototyping capabilities. Ultimately, she said, “we will take all of the best parts of each of the three robots to make one robot for competition.” Wagner feels confident that this strategy will position the Dragonoids for success. Chaudhari explained that one of his and Wagner’s goals is to “teach younger teammates interested in programming how to program.” He added, “I want to help the team have a foothold for next year.”

Under the guidance of team coach and computer science, engineering, and design teacher Berni Lally, the team transitioned to VEX robotics. While the transition presented a learning curve, Lally explained that VEX “allows the team to streamline their approach and to focus on programming in Python, which is the most up-to-date and versatile robot language.” This decision allows the team to introduce new ideas and capabilities into their robots, keeping them at the forefront of innovation. 

The Dragonoids are not just building robots; they’re building community, essential skills like collaboration and communication, and a strong foundation for the team's future.