The FIRST World Robotics Championships were held at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis April 24-27. The competition featured 400 of the world’s best high school robotics teams representing 42 states and nine nations including teams from all three Lee’s Summit high schools.
FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology and challenges teams of high school students along with their engineering mentors to design, build and program a robot to compete in a newly designed game every year.
This year’s challenge was called “Ultimate Ascent” and provided teams just six weeks to create a robot the size of office chairs to navigate around a 27-by-54-foot field, pick-up and shoot Frisbees into elevated goals and climb 8-foot steel pyramids.
This is the third time that all Lee’s Summit R-7 high-school three teams have qualified for the World Championship in the same year, a rare feat which highlights the educational, engineering, and manufacturing resources of the Lee’s Summit community.
At the championship, teams were divided into four divisions where they played a series of three-on-three qualification matches with randomly assigned partners. The top eight teams became captains and earned the right to draft their alliance partners for the elimination tournament.
Team Titanium from Lee’s Summit West High School was selected with the No. 1 draft selection in the Newton Division and earned silver medals after being upset in the division finals. They were also honored on the world stage with the “Excellence in Engineering Award” for their elegant machine and the students’ ability to explain its design and function to the public.
Team Driven from Lee’s Summit High School was also in the Newton Division. The Broncobots from Lee’s Summit North High School were in the Galileo Division.
All three teams will be displaying their robots at Downtown Days, scheduled June 7-9. The teams will also be hosting several robotics-themed summer camps for elementary and junior high students. Enrollment for those camps is open to the public.
For additional information about the FIRST World Championship, visit http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/students-from-around-the-world-put-custom-built-robots-to-the-test-at-2013-championship.