Lancaster High Eagle Robotics team members Eric Heindel-Goodchild and Trevor Londergan, assisted by team mentor Rene Haro, maneuver their machine during the FIRST Robotics regional competition in Phoenix March 13. At right, team member Sam Bartell holds the trident used to return balls punched through the goal to the playing field. (Contributed photo / Kirsten VanLangenhoven)
› View Larger Photo Two of three high school robotics teams sponsored or supported in part by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center are finding the competition at the FIRST Robotics regional games to be intense. Neither the Lancaster High nor the Antelope Valley High teams qualified for the national meet during the first series of regional meets over the past couple of weeks.
Both teams, however, will have another chance to qualify for the nationals in Atlanta at their second regional meets in late March.
Lancaster High School's Eagle Robotics, Team 399, finished 18th out of 57 teams competing at the end of the qualification rounds in the Arizona regional games, held in Phoenix March 12-13. They were the first pick of third seeded alliance, but were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
The Lancaster High students took solace, however, when they were named winner of the Rockwell Collins Innovation in Control Award after Friday's qualification rounds. The award celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components that provides unique machine functions. This is the first technical award Team 399 has won for robot design.
Antelope Valley High School's Robolopes, Team 2339, participated in the San Diego regional meet March 4-6, finishing 38th out of 48 teams competing.
Lancaster High School's Eagle Robotics Team 399's "The Wizard" robot, competing as part of the red team alliance, punches a ball into the goal during the FIRST Robotics regional games in Phoenix March 13. (Contributed photo / Lauren Parke)
› View Larger Photo Both the Lancaster and Antelope Valley high school robotics teams will have a second chance to qualify for championships, Lancaster's team at the Colorado regional meet in Denver and Antelope Valley at the Los Angeles regional in Long Beach the weekend of March 25-27.
Meanwhile, the third Dryden-sponsored or supported team, Tehachapi High School's Cyber Penguins, Team 585, will compete in its first regional games for the 2010 season in Salt Lake City March 18-20. The Tehachapi team is also scheduled to compete in the Las Vegas regional April 1-3.
The FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – organization developed the annual robotics competitions to promote student interest in mathematics, science and technology-based career fields and related academic curricula.