Peering into engineering with Robotics Club


Ashley Wang

RADIANT ROBOTICS: Freshman Jia Dave demonstrates the correct way to construct a VEX robotics build to club observers, prospective members and competitors.

Ally Venezia, THO Editor

To be an underclassman on the board of a Northwood club is a feat in and of itself, as most board positions go to upperclassmen. But to be the president of a club you founded as a freshman is even more extraordinary. Freshman Jia Dave fits that description perfectly, as she is the brains behind one of Northwood’s newest clubs—Robotics Club.

Dave started this club at the beginning of the school year after being part of the Jeffrey Trails Middle School robotics team. Specializing in VEX robotics—one of the fastest growing robotics organizations in the world—the Northwood club competes in tournaments at the state, national and international levels.

Robotics Club was started out of Dave’s passion for robotics and continues to thrive because of an entire community of Northwood STEM enthusiasts. Her passion for robotics began in middle school, and when she realized that there was no VEX robotics program at Northwood, she made it her initiative to share her experiences.

“It’s an amazing experience for people who love robotics or just STEM in general,” Dave said.

Although the 2023 tryouts have already occurred, Dave invites everyone to stop by during their Wednesday meetings to observe the team as they construct their robots and prepare for competitions. Tryouts for incoming freshmen and other prospective members will be held towards the end of the first semester of the 2023-24 school year, with other informational meetings happening later in 2023.

“I see a lot of passion in this club,” Robotics Club advisor Jordan Tyo said. “Jia had a passion and it was the thing she wanted to pour her time and energy into and it’s so impressive to see what it’s become.”

The importance of the club, and especially its president, is to show that as long as you have passion, anything is possible regardless of your age or experience—and that includes introducing a new club to your school.

It’s not like just because you’re a freshman that they’re going to tell you can’t do something. You just have to find something that you’re passionate about and become a leader in that area. It doesn’t matter your age: Anyone can be a leader.

— Jia Dave

As a freshman president, however, it’s hard not to face adversity at times, and Dave is no stranger to conflict and club tensions through people questioning the validity of freshmen-run clubs.

“I just try to take all the criticism and think about how I can improve myself,” Dave said.

With National Robotics week taking place from April 8-16, Robotics Club is planning to host a variety of after-school events in the upcoming weeks. If you would like to learn more about the club or are interested in joining, follow @northwoodroboticsteam on Instagram.