Working out of a Garage: How Team Astraea has Dealt with Covid

Pre-Pandemic:,7pm at the highschool in room L13. School ended around 2:12 and you have not stepped foot outside of the building. Sweat drips from your temples as you finally throw on your jacket and step into the winter night chill, waiting for your mother’s minivan to come to your rescue. That is just another ordinary day for EB’s robotics during their competitive season.


Ali Soherwardy, Bear Hub Staff

Team Astrea has only been around for a couple of years but they sure have set the scene in being a very competitive robotics team. “Our robotics team is a part of the larger organization, FIRST. Each year, FIRST releases a new game and we strategize, design, build, and program a robot for the new challenge in around 6-7 weeks,” says President Bhaskar Jain, 12.

Jain has been on the team since the beginning and has been orchestrating the team’s success with co president Varun Malhotra, 12. Last year, the team had their 6-7 weeks to build their own robot, but right around when the competitive season was supposed to start, Covid-19 shut everything down. The robot now sits in Jain’s garage, waiting to be used again.

A huge issue the team is dealing now is that they can’t meet in person for meetings. This club is hands-on, where you literally learn about the mechanics but working with the tools, pieces, and the coding behind it. But this pandemic isn’t stopping the team from working hard. The team sits down, cameras on, for a 2 hour meeting 3 times a week. The team has turned the interactive learning into learning more of the fundamentals, mechanism, and research for the lower classman.

Sana Naik, Nico Vinco, Aryan Kini, Bhavreet Brar, Aidan Gomez-Blanco, Emma Tong, Kamala Karuppiah (left to right; all 11), taking a break at their off season competition.

“Despite our lack of in person meetings, we have progressed a lot as a team and look forward to applying our knowledge in the season,” says Jain. “We may have lost all of last year’s comp season, but we plan to bounce back better than ever.” And that comp season is soon. Mark your calendars for January 7th for the robotics scene to step back into the game.