The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


Robotics rumble into state

Jones Robotics Team goes to state for the first time in five years
Photo by Calvin Beckert ’26

The Jones Robotics Team will head to the state championship series under the leadership of physics teacher Steven Clayton. 

This year, Clayton, the robotics team director,  noted that he took a closer look into developing  his club members’ understanding and foundational knowledge of robotics and its inner workings.

“We knew that a lot of our members are new this year… Our goal was to go to state if possible, but really just learn all about robotics this year,” says Clayton.

Clayton mentioned taking a unique approach when leading his team, looking towards building a safe environment and providing them with the knowledge they needed to grow.

Story continues below advertisement

“I generally try to be pretty hands off. [I] just allow the students the space and materials that they need to do the work,” says Clayton. 

Members of the robotics program spent lots of time and effort creating the machines in their competition and collaborated with coders who were able to bring their creations to life.

“Our coding department is very good at getting things done… When it comes to building, planning and designing, it is very difficult. Getting that done requires a lot of time,” said Rowan Harrison ‘24. 

Club members say they used the knowledge they learned in the engineering program offered at Jones to help push their knowledge of robotics forward.

“I think the knowledge of how to use computer aided design is a big thing that I’ve learned from previous teachers and engineering classes that helped us a lot,” said Justice Oh ‘26.

There is a giddy atmosphere heading into the state championship, especially when working against an intense time constraint.

“[We are] stressed but optimistic… We do alot of our work at the very last minute, but it ends up going pretty well, evident by the fact that we’re going to state,” said Harrison. “We want to keep working as hard as we can, and hopefully we’ll do well.”

Team members take focus on not just the robots they are creating but also the environment they foster as they look towards state championships.

“We have a very playful atmosphere around this club. We try not to take ourselves too seriously to the point where it becomes more of a burden than a fun club,” said Harrison.

Robotics team members are motivated to come to the club by this environment, and it helps them work together and foster a close relationship between the members of the club.

“That’s one of the things that is great about this club. It’s always a super fun environment, and I’m always wanting to come,” said Oh.

Clayton echoes this statement, and feels the excitement in the air for the upcoming championship round.

“We’re really excited. Like I said, we weren’t really expecting to go to state,” said Clayton. “Illinois is a very competitive state. We have a lot of teams that do make it pretty far.”

All attention is now on the state championship round, with members and teachers focusing their effort and attention on competing.

“We’re just trying to do as best we can at state,” said Clayton.  “We want to look good in state,” said Harrison.

The hard work of the students, Clayton mentioned, is what got them to this point, and he is proud of the achievements they have made recently.

“I’m really proud of the kids that have done a ton of hard work and a lot of late nights, and they definitely deserve the victory they have had,” said Clayton.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Calvin Beckert '26
Calvin Beckert '26, Journalism I

Comments (0)

All Blueprint Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *