The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Progressive programming

Robotics parent creates guide for growing extracurricular
Nicholas Perez
VRC Head Referee Eric Schnurr helps in the robotics lab and provides the students guides to make winning robots. Eric wrote and published a program to provide parents with an easy way to see how their kids performed in the competition.

In the lab, Eric Schnurr walks around, examining the robots of the students, including those of his own twin children, Hannah and Robert. The robotics students are scattered throughout the concrete room, building and testing their bots in the elevated field. He asks students questions about the status of their robots, the function, and answers some questions himself.

Eric is a three-time certified VRC Head Referee and holds every certification available. He helps out in the lab after school and guides students to make winning robots. This past summer, Eric wrote and published a program to provide parents with an easy way to see how their kids performed in the competition.

“My dad is a certified ref for VEX, so he refs a lot of the competitions we go to,” Hannah said. “He talks to other referees about rules and helps with making sure that the Lovejoy teams are aware of the rules and changes.”

Eric began to learn more about VEX, RECF and VRC, meanwhile volunteering at tournaments in other districts. He also completed his certification to be an Event Partner and Judge Advisor.

“The idea for my presentation originated early last season,” Eric said. “Principal Mayfield had suggested to Coach Strickland that other sports have done educational sessions for their parents and we might find it helpful for robotics. I had also seen the blank look on parents’ faces at tournaments. They didn’t know what was going on and didn’t know how to tell when their child had made a great move or made a blunder during a match. I liked the idea and decided to run with it.”

For months, whenever Eric wasn’t at work or in the lab, he was spending his hours relearning JavaScript to make looking at results and game statistics much easier for parents. He took months of data and compiled it all into one easy-to-read presentation.

“[Eric] and I always wanted robotics to be something that could be easy to explain, especially to robotics parents, and with the guides he has created he has definitely accomplished that.” robotics teacher Joshua Strickland said. “I think I can speak for many parents in Lovejoy when I say that Mr. Schnurr has helped make robotics fun and relatable to so many parents and students.”

Eric split his presentation into two parts, one for VEX and tournaments, which would cover the basics of robotics competitions, and the second would be the rules and strategies of the season’s game. He created an additional reference card for next season’s game, Spin Up. Eric’s creations were published on the VEX Robotics website and he and the high school were credited.

“He is a mentor and like the robotics assistant coach I always wished I had,” Strickland said. “Without his help, I wouldn’t be the coach I am today. He helps our robotics program to think through what practice drills we are doing and helps teams by offering advice. He has a true passion for robotics, just like I do.”

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About the Contributor
Sydney Cole
Sydney Cole, Staff Writer
Sydney Cole is entering her first year of high school and her first year on staff. Outside of E103, Cole spends time on the football field, not as a player, but as an athletic trainer. She loves to spend her time reading, watching Love Island UK and listening to Taylor Swift. Cole will always appreciate Key Lime Pie shaved ice from Bahama Bucks, a 4-piece from Cane’s and a quick nap. Cole can't wait to get writing and is eager to make freshman year the best year yet.

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