RPA Robotics Teams Excel During Recent Tournament

RPA Robotics teams recently showcased their talents at the Willamette Valley League Tournament, hosted by Thurston High School in Springfield.  

The first team, Aluminumati (Team 6727), is led by Phoenix Pfifer, consisting of Anne Lunny, Ariel Haro, Adahir Lopez-Diaz, Kaleb Handy, Micah Smith, Mosely Matthies and Rocco Mazella.

The second team, Robotics Quasar Alliance (Team 5627), is led by Megan Craig, consisting of Alex Larson, Isabelle Kizans, Jack Zamora and Lucas Gregory. This event was a part of the FTC (First Tech Challenge) competition, a challenging arena where teams from various schools spend months designing, building and programming robots to compete in a game-style setting, aiming to score the highest points.

The competition is more than a test of robotics prowess; it’s a comprehensive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) endeavor that encompasses engineering, programming, marketing and 3D modeling. It requires participants to exhibit exemplary teamwork, communication, dedication and a wide array of technical skills – qualities that RPA students have in abundance, Robotics Instructor Jared Lawrence said.   

Despite facing challenges, including missing the first League Meet in November, both teams entered the tournament with determination and a willingness to give their all. For Team 6727, Aluminumati, it marked their debut in competitive robotics, presenting them with the invaluable experience of seeing their robots perform in a real competition setting. The journey to the tournament involved meticulous preparation, from crafting engineering portfolios to delivering presentations that encapsulated their year-long efforts.

In a testament to their hard work and community spirit, Team 5627, Robotics Quasar Alliance, was awarded the Connect Award for their volunteer work with the RPA Middle School’s FLL Robotics team. “This honor not only highlights their technical achievements but also their commitment to fostering connections within our community, securing them a spot in the state competition,” Lawrence said.    

As the teams  forward to the state competition, Team 5627 is already strategizing on how to enhance their robot’s design and performance.

Although Team 6727 did not automatically qualify for State Competition, they are also strategizing on how to improve their design should they be invited to the Second Chance Qualifier, another opportunity to make it to State Competition. 

“This experience underscores the value of our robotics program in cultivating the next generation of innovators and leaders,” Lawrence said. “Our students’ dedication to overcoming obstacles, their drive for continuous improvement, and their spirit of teamwork are truly inspirational.”

 

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