LASA Robotics is the robotics team of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (formerly the Science Academy), a public magnet high school in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1983 by Tony Bertucci, the team is dedicated to teaching engineering principles to students, both within our own team and our community. We currently have around 40 student members, participate in three competitions, and make community outreach a priority throughout the entire year.
As part of our community outreach, we've held robot demos at schools, libraries, community centers, science fairs, book fairs, movie theaters, parties, churches, Austin events, engineering trade shows (like NI Week and SolidWorks World), and UT science lecture series. If you would like for LASA Robotics to hold a demo at your event or location, please contact us.
LASA Robotics has three elected positions that run the general management of the team. Two of these positions are held by relations managers, whose duties include organizing the members to run fundraising, publicity, and outreach events. The other position is held by the build manager, who supervises the quality and efficiency of all competition materials. Beneath these leads, members are divided into subteams. Because of differences in competitions, strategies for dividing labor, and available manpower, these subteams can vary between competitions. Three of the more consistent subteams are Robot, Field, and Control. The Robot subteam’s responsibility is to refine, prototype, manufacture, and assemble the robot after the whole team has decided on a design. Robot also organizes the team drive-off, which selects the competition’s robot operators. The Field subteam builds the mock competition field for the operators to practice on, and helps determine coding and building measurements. The Control subteam designs and implements the electronic system for the robot, as well as writing all the necessary code.
Every fall, when the latest group of incoming freshmen has settled, the Robotics team sends out representatives to each of the classes in LASA’s signature courses (SciTech, EZine, Planet Earth, and Into to the Humanities), which every student is required to take. The representatives give underclassmen a quick description of the team, and invite them to the annual Kickoff party for a more in-depth introduction. There, the recruits have a chance to eat great food, socialize with team members and alumni, and learn whether they want to join.
Another more recently developed recruitment strategy has arisen through our SMART Camp program. Some of the participants in our first camps have continued on to attend LASA and join the team.