Some local students are M’Aiken Magic in robotics competitions

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 5:53 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The M’Aiken Magic robotics team is coming up on its 20th year of participating in worldwide competitions.

We stopped by the team’s workshop to see what they’re working on and how it prepares them for the future.

These robots are all made by students like Wyatt Donaldson, who are members of the M’aiken Magic robotics team.

“I developed a lot of mechanics-based skills, 3D modeling, designing mechanisms, and it really just stuck, and that’s what I do now,” he said.

Designing those robots is a team effort from everyone, including mentors like Dennis Terry.

“They keep me young,” he said. “I have been doing this for a while, and I really enjoy it,” he said.

Terry is a former IBM employee. He says helping with the group makes him wonder what’s next for technology.

“There are so many opportunities,” he said. “What we do here is part of the future.”

It’s also preparing students for their future. Something their coach, John Fogarty, knows firsthand as an engineer and former team member.

“This program gives a lot of the hands-on, practical learning opportunities,” he said. “How to solve a problem, failing sometimes and then using that failure to turn around and make something even better over time, which is the real-world engineering process.”

Donaldson hopes it helps him accomplish his goals in engineering too.

“If I wouldn’t have joined this, I would not have any of the mechanical design and just overall skills an engineer would need in here,” he said.

The group is open to any seventh- through 12th-grade student in Aiken County or the surrounding area.