High School Robotics teams square off in a match at the prior FIRST Robotics regional games in San Diego March 12.
FIRST Robotics Update: LnHS has one more chance
Two high school robotics teams supported in part by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center made it to the semi-finals of the FIRST Robotics Competition Los Angeles area regional meet in Long Beach, Calif., last weekend, but neither failed to qualify for the FIRST Robotics national championships in late April.
The Eagle Robotics team from Lancaster High School will have another chance, however, to qualify for the national championship meet in St. Louis at the FIRST Robotics regional competition in Salt Lake City April 7-9.
Lancaster High's Eagle Robotics team was joined by Antelope Valley High School's Robolopes in a three-team alliance with Beach Cities Team from the Torrance area, the 2010 World Champions, in the semi-final round at the meet at the Long Beach Convention Center. The alliance defeated several other teams and alliances to advance to the semi-final round where it competed for the best two out of three. After losing the first game, the alliance battled back to win in the second match, but lost the final match, squashing their chance to advance to the national meet.
Reaching the semi-final round was a milestone for Antelope Valley High's contingent, the highest level the team has achieved in its four years of competition.
Lancaster High's team didn't come away empty, however. The Eagle Robotics squad won the Excellence in Design Award for animation and the Gracious Professionalism Award for assisting a team from Inglewood that needed help with their robots design and programming. Over the course of the two regional meets in San Diego and Long Beach, Eagle Robotics established a record of 19 wins, 11 losses and 1 tie.
"We are now headed to the Utah Regional on April 7-9 to further display the abilities of our robot 'James Bot' and his (mini-robot) companion, 'James Bit,' reported Lancaster High teacher and team advisor Kevin Spoelstra. "We will make Lancaster High, NASA Dryden, and the Antelope Valley proud."
The third team supported in part by NASA Dryden, the Tehachapi High School Cyber Penguins, was scheduled to compete at the FIRST Robotics regional games in Las Vegas March 31 through April 2 in hopes of qualifying for the nationals scheduled for April 27-30 .
Three FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams mentored by Dryden engineers Joe Pahle and David Voracek that use a smaller robot have already won their way to the separate FIRST Tech Challenge national championships. They are Team #452 PHI alpha, Team #4322 PHI omega, and Team #72 Garagebots.
FIRST – an acronym for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and communities. The robotics program was developed to inspire curiosity and create interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics among high school students. Through the NASA Robotics Alliance Project, NASA provides grants for 297 teams and sponsors four regional student competitions to encourage young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering.
NASA photos by Tom Tschida