From Craig Kostyshyn, Havre de Grace High School:
The MD State Championship for the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) class of FIRST Robotics was held Saturday, February 23, 2013, at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University in Laurel, MD. Thirty-two of the top-ranked teams in the state (teams had to qualify for the state championship by virtue of wins or awards earned during the regular season) competed in 40 separate matches teamed with different “Alliance” partners. The robotics action was competitive and intense with hundreds of students and mentors attending the event from all over the state.
The small Havre de Grace High School “Spears and Gears” robotics team (team members listed below) worked feverishly over the past few weeks to complete and refine their Bot in preparation for this state championship competition. After five rounds of intense competition, Spears and Gears posted two wins, one tie and two losses and accumulated scoring points for a final state ranking of 14th! It is worthy to note that the Havre de Grace High School based team was the 4th-ranked team in the state among teams that were based in public school systems, and the only FTC team fielded by a HCPS school. This 14th place state ranking and 4th among all public school based teams was the best performance by the Havre de Grace High School robotics team to date, and they hope this will be a harbinger of future success.
The FIRST Robotics Program (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is the premier STEM education program in the country, with more than 7,000 teams in the FTC class alone, and with membership of more than 300,000 individuals. FTC FIRST Robotics competition, with its requirement to combine the disciplines of Science and Engineering to problem solve within set constraints, exemplifies the national Next Generation Science Standards. This program creates the opportunity for students to engage in science and engineering practices in a completely “hands-on” fashion within a format that is both challenging and rewarding, but is also loads of FUN!
FTC Team 4141 – Spears and Gears – Team Members:
Student Members: Allison Grabowski (Team Captain & Lead Engineer), Tucker Barnes (software programming), and Kenny Hallock.
Mentors: Ms. Shawna Ashman (Team Manager / Public Relations), Tim Corbin (software/programming support), Mr. Craig Kostyshyn (Faculty Advisor)
Special thanks to the following companies, organizations and individuals who contributed to our team’s success this year:
> Altus Engineering, Tony Steelman CEO, (financial and equipment support)
> Havre de Grace High School PTSA and Pat’s Restaurant (fundraising efforts)
> U.S. Army – Army Research Laboratory (ARL) (past program support and robot parts),
> Chris Hoppel of Tech Brick Robotics (past program support)
> Ms. Marie Hallock-Sweet (logistical support)