But more than winning competitions now, Vargo says he hopes this new program will help students at PHS long beyond a competition or their high school years.
“They are using the skills and knowledge from this program to help with their next step of life,” he said. “I think FIRST robotics is becoming more and more popular every day. The younger generation is recognizing how important it is to be smart and they are aware that using their intelligence will pay off in the future. It’s highly unlikely that all the athletes in an athletic team will become professionals in that sport. All 30 of our young men and women on our team can be an engineer if they wanted to.”
Though the team was unable to compete for a world championship this year because one of their robots broke, they were the only robot to fully climb a pyramid — one of the tasks — and Vargo sees nothing but a bright future for the program at PHS.
“Overall, I was extremely happy with our team at the regional,” he said. “In the next five years, I hope to see us staying competitive and being a platform for our students to learn skills that will give them an advantage to succeed in the game of life.”