Team 236 the Technoticks qualified this weekend for the North East Regional FIRST Robotics Championships to be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute April 9-11th.
The team qualified, following their win at Waterbury District Competition and third place this weekend at the Hartford District Competition. Qualification is based on a points system and the Technoticks qualified 10th out of 175 teams across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Their points tally was boosted with the award of the Motorola Quality Award at Waterbury.
Engineering is a process of continuous improvement and the Lyme Old Lyme High School students were treated to a real-life lesson in the pitfalls of that process. After their win at Waterbury the team decided that if they were to be contenders in the World Championships, they needed to improve the speed of their intake mechanism to be able to score more points in each round. That successful improvement resulted in problems in another part of the robot leaving the team in 10th position at the end of the qualifying rounds. The team’s reputation carried them forward into the Quarter Finals, being chosen by Team 177 The Bob Cats and Team 1124 the Uberbots to join their alliance as 7th place seeds.
With help from their Mentors, all experienced engineers, the team were able to analyze the problem, design a new part, manufacture it on site and modify the robot all in the space of an hour and a half. The modification was very successful and the “Cat in the Hat” robot got back to winning form. During the quarter-finals the alliance made huge progress and made it to the semi-finals, finishing in third place. The eventual winner was the alliance of teams 230 The Gaelhawks from Shelton, team 195 Cyber Knights of Southington and the Panther Project from Middlebury with second place taken by an alliance made up of The Titanium Tomahawks from Glastonbury, Apple Pi from Guilford and Sim City from Simsbury.
During the competition, held at Harford High School, the drive team had the opportunity to meet with Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman who commented on the need for student involvement in STEM to fill jobs in Connecticut. Ms Wyman has been an ardent supporter of FIRST for many years and gave a speech to the audience thanking all the mentors, teachers & parents for inspiring students in STEM.
All Photos courtesy of Christopher Wells
Left to right: Alexis Kholar, Nate Bersing (hidden) Jared Di Carlo and Hayden Hendrick meet with Governor Malloy
Teacher and Lead Mentor Bill Derry work with members of the team on a last minute modification to their robot.