Madison High Robotics to Advance to Nationals
"Warbots" won Pittsburgh Regional FIRST Robotics Competition to earn a spot on the national stage.
The Madison High School Robotics team walked away with a first place finish last weekend at the Pittsburgh Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.
But it wasn't easy, parent volunteer Don May wrote on Patch.
Forty-five teams, comprising more than 1,000 students, competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) regional event from March 14 to 16.
But the "Team 620 Warbots" overcame some impressive odds stacked against them to take the crown and earn a spot in the national competition in St. Louis later this spring.
FIRST issues a challenges to teams across the country each year, giving the six weeks to build a robot that can complete the game or given series of tasks.
This year, students were charged with building robots who could shoot frisbees and climb steel pip pyramids in a game called “Ultimate Ascent,” according to FIRST materials.
After the qualification rounds, the Warbots were left with a record of 4-7-0 — only good enough to rank No. 33 of 45 teams, May wrote.
But "the top two teams recognized our potential and invited us to join their alliance during the elimination round of the competition," May said.
That alliance was undefeated in the semifinals before staring down the championship matches.
"The final-round matches were very exciting, with our alliance defeating the third-seed alliance in the first match, losing to them in the second match, and then emerging with a victory in the final, winner-take-all, third match," May said.
The event was only the beginning for the Warhawks, led by Madison teacher Toss Cline and a number of parent volunteers, including May.
Students will compete again March 28 to 30 in the D.C. Regional Competition before preparing for Nationals later this spring.