Last month local high schools competed in WPI’s FIRST Robotics Competition NE District championships. Both Algonquin and Assabet walked away with something to boast about.
- 6th place ranking out of 175 teams
- winner of the District’s “Gracious Professionalism” award
- an invitation to the World Championships in St. Louis (its third in the last 5 years.)
It wasn’t an easy road for the team. According to their press release, Team 1100 didn’t place in the Top 8 teams for the playoffs. Fortunately, another team selected them as their first pick for an “alliance partner”. As part of a three team alliance:
Team 1100 rose to the challenge and didn’t disappoint, putting in a near flawless performance through the quarter and semi-finals, and helping propel its 4th-ranked alliance to the final rounds. Facing off against a formidable 1st-ranked alliance in the final rounds, the T-Hawks left nothing on the field until the robot literally fell over in the second finals match. Team 175’s robot righted the Team 1100 robot in one of the event’s most memorable moments, only to see the T-Hawks’ robot disqualified from further play for safety reasons because the battery had been dislodged in the fall.
(For more exciting details, click on the press release.)
Although Team 1100 earned the right to compete a the World Championships in late April, they elected not to pursue it. According to a parent, confirmation of eligibility came too close to the travel date:
That makes it really hard to plan travel and travel economically. The Team is studying ways to improve its planning process for championships in the future.
Assabet Valley’s AZTECHS Team 157 didn’t fare as well in their rankings. The team came in 75th place. But they again walked away with the Excellence in Engineering Award.
Following the competition, they had more good news. The team was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Staples Foundation. Marcus Fletcher, the Project Manager (and 1999 graduate of the school and robotics team), announced:
We run the robotics program on sponsorships instead of school funds, so this grant from Staples will go a long way when it comes to event registrations and purchase of raw materials. The team is really excited to be sponsored by Staples
For more details, read the school’s press release, here.