The Saint Francis High School Lancer Robotics team concluded their season with their best finish yet, finishing 17th in their division at the FIRST Robotics world championships held in Houston.
“It was exhilarating, it was exciting, and I’m proud of all of us – how we came together and figured out solutions to our technical adversities,” said junior Tarun Amarnath, one of the team’s co-captains.
At robotics competitions, teams form alliances and face off to see which robots can most efficiently complete a series of tasks, in this case, moving and placing the most number of cubes in specific locations on the competition arena. The Lancers strategically built their robot to be small, light and fast, and their design paid off. To get to Houston, the Lancers took part in the Silicon Valley Regional, and with their alliance, they won all their playoff matches and qualified for the world competition, the first time a Lancer team has done so.
Twenty-five Lancers made the trip to Houston and were accompanied by club moderators Joanna Abot, a computer programming teacher, and Mark Selden, a biology teacher, as well as the club’s technology mentor and a parent chaperone. In Houston, the Lancers competed in all 10 qualification rounds and made it as far as the quarterfinal round. Since returning home, club members are even more excited about engineering and programming and looking forward to the possibilities of next year. They plan to use the summer to train new members and improve their skills
“Robotics is a great hands-on way to learn the design process and understand how solutions evolve and take shape,” Tarun said.