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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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Phoebe Tang pursues engineering passions with Funky Monkeys robotics team

Graphic illustration by Chelsea Lee. (Valerie Shu)

Sophomore Phoebe Tang serves as co-drivetrain lead and media lead for Lynbrook’s robotics team, the Funky Monkeys, which competes in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition.

Tang’s passion for engineering and robotics was sparked at a young age, first started by the 2014 Disney film Big Hero 6, where one of the film’s protagonists is a friendly healthcare robot named Baymax.

“That’s one of the main reasons I wanted to join robotics,” Tang said. “Since I was young, I thought engineering was really fun. When I watched Big Hero 6 I was like, ‘I want to build a Baymax robot to help people!’”

Since joining as a freshman, Tang has taken on more responsibilities in the team: she now organizes merchandise and photo journals covering their activities as the media lead, as well as helping develop the drivetrain, a component that acts as the foundation of the robot. Every year, the Funky Monkeys challenge themselves to have the subsystem design led entirely by girls on the team.

Graphic illustration by Chelsea Lee. Photo used with permission from the Funky Monkeys.

“For the drivetrain, we build the base of the robot with all the wheels that everything mounts on top of,” Tang said. “It’s one of the most important subsystems as we need it to move on the game field.”

Each robotics season starts in January where teamwork and communication are key in solving the new types of games and challenges introduced every year. Following six weeks to eight weeks to develop and build their robots, teams begin competition in matches across the nation. The Funky Monkeys have attended the San Francisco Regional Competition from March 8 to 10 and are now preparing for the Idaho Regional Competition from March 21 to 24 in Nampa, Idaho. 

You learn from the whole process of going from a freshman who knows nothing to a more experienced role where you’re actually leading,” Tang said. “Most people think robotics is just about programming a robot, but it’s also about learning from and building each other.

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About the Contributor
Valerie Shu
Valerie Shu, Design Editor
(she/her) Valerie is a junior and Design Editor. She enjoys drawing, graphic design, Desmos and books.

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