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PHOTOS: The wonderful Wizard of Oz-Ram? John Stark/Hopkinton robotics team competes

  • Jeff Robichaud (center) stands in front of the target while Chase St. Laurent (left front) and Will Lalancette (right front) make some final changes to the robot's frisbee shooter of the robot before mounting it on to the body of the robot; Thursday, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Jeff Robichaud (center) stands in front of the target while Chase St. Laurent (left front) and Will Lalancette (right front) make some final changes to the robot's frisbee shooter of the robot before mounting it on to the body of the robot; Thursday, February 14, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Chase St. Laurent shows his mentor, Jeff Beltramo, a computer schematic of the chassis for the Tin Man robot; Tuesday, January 29, 2013. The students start  by constructing a robot on the computer before building the real thing.<br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Chase St. Laurent shows his mentor, Jeff Beltramo, a computer schematic of the chassis for the Tin Man robot; Tuesday, January 29, 2013. The students start by constructing a robot on the computer before building the real thing.
    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Will Lalancette covers his face in frustration as the students debate whether the drive team should consist of seniors or students who had driven he robot in previous competitions; Thursday February 14, 2013. The drive team consists of two drivers who will operate the robot, a drive coach, and a human player who can load frisbees onto the robot and also throw the frisbees into the target during the competition. <br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Will Lalancette covers his face in frustration as the students debate whether the drive team should consist of seniors or students who had driven he robot in previous competitions; Thursday February 14, 2013. The drive team consists of two drivers who will operate the robot, a drive coach, and a human player who can load frisbees onto the robot and also throw the frisbees into the target during the competition.
    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Freshman, Carmen Repucci lies on the floor to look at the scales before the team weighs the robot; Tuesday February 19, 2013. The robots cannot weight more than 120 pounds. On the last build day the teams put the robot in a bag, but they are allowed to leave up to 30 pounds out of the bag to continue to work on before their competitions. The Tin Man VIII is the smallest and lightest robot that Team Oz-Ram has made.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Freshman, Carmen Repucci lies on the floor to look at the scales before the team weighs the robot; Tuesday February 19, 2013. The robots cannot weight more than 120 pounds. On the last build day the teams put the robot in a bag, but they are allowed to leave up to 30 pounds out of the bag to continue to work on before their competitions. The Tin Man VIII is the smallest and lightest robot that Team Oz-Ram has made.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Students on Team Oz-Ram celebrate their final building day of their Tin Man VIII robot with an impromptu conga line around the Hopkinton school building; Tuesday, February 19, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Students on Team Oz-Ram celebrate their final building day of their Tin Man VIII robot with an impromptu conga line around the Hopkinton school building; Tuesday, February 19, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • From left: Chase St. Laurent, Jeff Robichaud, and Will Lalancette play video games at Lalancette's house before heading to their robotics meeting. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    From left: Chase St. Laurent, Jeff Robichaud, and Will Lalancette play video games at Lalancette's house before heading to their robotics meeting.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Junior, Lizzie Busby stands outside of the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester as Team Oz-Ram loads their equipment into a trailer at the end of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013. Busby  is in charge of making costumes, noise makers and signs for the team and their family members in the audience, she says that being on the team is one of the best things that has happened to her. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Junior, Lizzie Busby stands outside of the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester as Team Oz-Ram loads their equipment into a trailer at the end of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013. Busby is in charge of making costumes, noise makers and signs for the team and their family members in the audience, she says that being on the team is one of the best things that has happened to her.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • The playing field for the Granite State Regional FIRST Robotics competition; Saturday, March 2, 2013. For the competition each of the 45 teams are put on either the Red or the Blue Alliance with two other teams. The alliances then work together with their robots to earn as many points possible by throwing frisbees into targets and climbing the pyramid.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    The playing field for the Granite State Regional FIRST Robotics competition; Saturday, March 2, 2013. For the competition each of the 45 teams are put on either the Red or the Blue Alliance with two other teams. The alliances then work together with their robots to earn as many points possible by throwing frisbees into targets and climbing the pyramid.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • From left: junior Brianna Russell and senior Chase St. Laurent, drive the robot while senior Alden Mitchell, and freshman Luke Anderson watch them test out the climbing arms of the robot between matches at the Granite State Regional in Manchester; Friday, March 1, 2013.  <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    From left: junior Brianna Russell and senior Chase St. Laurent, drive the robot while senior Alden Mitchell, and freshman Luke Anderson watch them test out the climbing arms of the robot between matches at the Granite State Regional in Manchester; Friday, March 1, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Jackie Mellen (center) holds up the climbing arm of the robot while the students work to make it functional for the competition; Thursday, February 28, 2013. Mellen's daughter Jess Mellen (front right) designed the graphics for the team logo. Jackie Mellen said this is the first year she has taken an active role in the team, helping with book-keeping, organizing team dinners, and working in the pit during the competition. Mellen says she notices many other teams where parents and mentors actively instruct the students on how to fix their robot. On Oz-Ram, she says, the parents and mentors let the students work through problems, only stepping in when asked. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Jackie Mellen (center) holds up the climbing arm of the robot while the students work to make it functional for the competition; Thursday, February 28, 2013. Mellen's daughter Jess Mellen (front right) designed the graphics for the team logo. Jackie Mellen said this is the first year she has taken an active role in the team, helping with book-keeping, organizing team dinners, and working in the pit during the competition. Mellen says she notices many other teams where parents and mentors actively instruct the students on how to fix their robot. On Oz-Ram, she says, the parents and mentors let the students work through problems, only stepping in when asked.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Will Lalancette, the human player on Team Oz-Ram,<br/> celebrates after throwing a frisbee into the target during the final qualifying rounds of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013. The human player can attempt to throw frisbees into the target to earn points during the last 30 seconds of each match.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Will Lalancette, the human player on Team Oz-Ram,
    celebrates after throwing a frisbee into the target during the final qualifying rounds of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013. The human player can attempt to throw frisbees into the target to earn points during the last 30 seconds of each match.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • From left: freshman Carmen Repucci, junior Josh Walker,  junior Jeff Robichaud, and freshman Karter Martin watch their team compete in one of the last qualifying matches of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    From left: freshman Carmen Repucci, junior Josh Walker, junior Jeff Robichaud, and freshman Karter Martin watch their team compete in one of the last qualifying matches of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Will Lalancette (left) and Dave Reid (right) bring the team's tool cabinet back into the classroom at Hopkinton High School after the Granite State Regional; Saturday, Mach 2, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Will Lalancette (left) and Dave Reid (right) bring the team's tool cabinet back into the classroom at Hopkinton High School after the Granite State Regional; Saturday, Mach 2, 2013.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Senior Tyler Slabinski rests while waiting to test the robot's frisbee shooter; Thursday, February 28, 2013. Slabinski is the lead computer programmer on the team has to be ready to change the program if the team makes changes to the mechanics or electrical wiring on the robot. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

    Senior Tyler Slabinski rests while waiting to test the robot's frisbee shooter; Thursday, February 28, 2013. Slabinski is the lead computer programmer on the team has to be ready to change the program if the team makes changes to the mechanics or electrical wiring on the robot.

    (SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

  • Jeff Robichaud (center) stands in front of the target while Chase St. Laurent (left front) and Will Lalancette (right front) make some final changes to the robot's frisbee shooter of the robot before mounting it on to the body of the robot; Thursday, February 14, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Chase St. Laurent shows his mentor, Jeff Beltramo, a computer schematic of the chassis for the Tin Man robot; Tuesday, January 29, 2013. The students start  by constructing a robot on the computer before building the real thing.<br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Will Lalancette covers his face in frustration as the students debate whether the drive team should consist of seniors or students who had driven he robot in previous competitions; Thursday February 14, 2013. The drive team consists of two drivers who will operate the robot, a drive coach, and a human player who can load frisbees onto the robot and also throw the frisbees into the target during the competition. <br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Freshman, Carmen Repucci lies on the floor to look at the scales before the team weighs the robot; Tuesday February 19, 2013. The robots cannot weight more than 120 pounds. On the last build day the teams put the robot in a bag, but they are allowed to leave up to 30 pounds out of the bag to continue to work on before their competitions. The Tin Man VIII is the smallest and lightest robot that Team Oz-Ram has made.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Students on Team Oz-Ram celebrate their final building day of their Tin Man VIII robot with an impromptu conga line around the Hopkinton school building; Tuesday, February 19, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • From left: Chase St. Laurent, Jeff Robichaud, and Will Lalancette play video games at Lalancette's house before heading to their robotics meeting. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Junior, Lizzie Busby stands outside of the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester as Team Oz-Ram loads their equipment into a trailer at the end of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013. Busby  is in charge of making costumes, noise makers and signs for the team and their family members in the audience, she says that being on the team is one of the best things that has happened to her. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • The playing field for the Granite State Regional FIRST Robotics competition; Saturday, March 2, 2013. For the competition each of the 45 teams are put on either the Red or the Blue Alliance with two other teams. The alliances then work together with their robots to earn as many points possible by throwing frisbees into targets and climbing the pyramid.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • From left: junior Brianna Russell and senior Chase St. Laurent, drive the robot while senior Alden Mitchell, and freshman Luke Anderson watch them test out the climbing arms of the robot between matches at the Granite State Regional in Manchester; Friday, March 1, 2013.  <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Jackie Mellen (center) holds up the climbing arm of the robot while the students work to make it functional for the competition; Thursday, February 28, 2013. Mellen's daughter Jess Mellen (front right) designed the graphics for the team logo. Jackie Mellen said this is the first year she has taken an active role in the team, helping with book-keeping, organizing team dinners, and working in the pit during the competition. Mellen says she notices many other teams where parents and mentors actively instruct the students on how to fix their robot. On Oz-Ram, she says, the parents and mentors let the students work through problems, only stepping in when asked. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Will Lalancette, the human player on Team Oz-Ram,<br/> celebrates after throwing a frisbee into the target during the final qualifying rounds of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013. The human player can attempt to throw frisbees into the target to earn points during the last 30 seconds of each match.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • From left: freshman Carmen Repucci, junior Josh Walker,  junior Jeff Robichaud, and freshman Karter Martin watch their team compete in one of the last qualifying matches of the Granite State Regional; Saturday, March 2, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Will Lalancette (left) and Dave Reid (right) bring the team's tool cabinet back into the classroom at Hopkinton High School after the Granite State Regional; Saturday, Mach 2, 2013.<br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)
  • Senior Tyler Slabinski rests while waiting to test the robot's frisbee shooter; Thursday, February 28, 2013. Slabinski is the lead computer programmer on the team has to be ready to change the program if the team makes changes to the mechanics or electrical wiring on the robot. <br/><br/>(SAMANTHA GORESH / Monitor staff)

Last weekend, the John Stark/Hopkinton robotics team, Oz-Ram, competed at the Granite State Regional FIRST Robotics competition in Manchester, losing in the quarter-finals with the teams from St. Paul’s School and Bishop Brady High School. The team of about 35 students had six weeks to build a robot for the annual event, and this year the robot had to throw frisbees and climb a pyramid.

But “it’s not about the robot,” said Leo St. Laurent, who serves as a mentor. He explained that the students on Team Oz-Ram, including his son Chase, a senior at John Stark, learn many other skills, including teamwork and meeting deadlines.

Inspired by a 2006 donation from the Osram Sylvania company, the team’s theme is Wizard of Oz, and this year their robot was named Tin Man VIII. Oz-Ram, which is led by Will Renauld, a Hopkinton teacher, and Jeff Beltramo, an NHTI professor, said they plan on fixing the Tin Man’s climbing arms for a stronger showing at the Pine Tree Regional in Lewiston, Maine, in April.

Junior Brianna Russell, who is home schooled but takes some classes at Hopkinton, said she appreciated the various aspects of being on the team. “I like the fact that there’s a place for everyone. It’s not all mechanical; (there is) the website, there’s programming, electrical – there are all different kinds of things that people can do for the team. Even graphic design, like the T-shirts and buttons and different logos.”

Will Lalancette, a junior at Hopkinton, said he liked being able to see his “ideas go from being an idea to an actual physical object and something that you can interact with and achieve things with,” while Beltramo said that after a few years on the team, he can talk to the kids just like any other engineer with whom he might work.

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