Westminster Heads to 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition
For the past several weeks, the Westminster Christian Academy FIRST Robotics team has been designing and building a robot in anticipation of the three-day St. Louis regional competition at Chaifetz Arena March 22-24.
FIRST seeks to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. This year’s robotics competition game, “Rebound Rumble,” requires teams to build a basketball-type-game-playing robot that will form an alliance with two other teams’ robots in a three-on-three game of shooting hoops.
One of 13 rookie teams in the St. Louis area, Westminster recently completed its final testing before making their final adjustments and “bagging and tagging” the robot. The bag will be opened by the judges at the event.
In preparation, the team has been making videos about its robot’s capabilities to be viewed by the judges, practicing how to best represent Westminster at the event, compiling engineering notebooks filled with records of the design, construction and test processes, refining programming, and working on PR efforts.
Team mentor and Westminster teacher Lisa Harding says she couldn’t be prouder of this team and their outstanding work over the past several weeks. “Every one of these students would tell you that they have accomplished more than they would have ever thought possible,” says Harding. “Thinking about all of the robot’s capabilities, they just shake their heads and say, ‘I can’t believe we built that.’ With outstanding leadership and technical advice from our Boeing engineer mentors, our rookie team was able to design and build a robot that can do absolutely everything that the competition requires. The dedication of our students, parents, and mentors just amazes me!”
The competition will be held at Chaifetz Arena at St. Louis University, and admission is free. Westminster will compete on Friday, but the team will not know what times they will be competing that day until 9 a.m. that morning. Games run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the day. Westminster will compete in qualifying rounds on Saturday, March 24 from 9:30-11:30 in hopes of being invited to compete in the final rounds Saturday afternoon, from 1-4:15 p.m.