At the conclusion of last weekend’s Chesapeake (CHS) District Championship in Richmond, Garrett County’s High School FIRST Robotics Team 1629, GaCo, was extended an invitation to compete at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis. The CHS District will send 24 teams to St. Louis, from over 140 teams in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.
Accumulated points throughout the 2017 season were used to determine which CHS District teams would advance to the championship level. However, Team 1629 determined in advance that it would not accept an invitation based on points alone. In order to advance, the team would have to either win the District Championship with its robot or be the recipient of a Chairman’s Award, FIRST Robotics highest honor it extends to teams.
The team accumulated a total of 210 district points and were ranked seventh in the CHS District, which would have placed them in a position to advance by the points. However, Team 1629 was chosen as one of the two Chairman’s Award recipients. On that merit, the team accepted the invitation. As a result, GaCo will compete for the Chairman’s Award at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, along with all the other regional and district championship Chairman’s Award recipients, as well as competing with its robot in this year’s game, FIRST STEAMworks.
While in St. Louis, the team will be presenting at the FIRST Championship Conference. Students from the team will be sharing their approach to STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and how they are ensuring that all students in and about Garrett County are “STEM Ready”. In other words, for students to have the opportunity to develop the skills needed for success in STEM. According to a team representative, the team puts as much effort, if not more, into achieving its vision of “STEM Ready” kids as it does in building and competing with its robot. The team representative indicated that the team is “about more than robots.”
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