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FRC Team 1629 Attends World Championship in St. Louis

Last Updated on May 6, 2014 at 12:08pm | Public Information Office

The 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season concluded with Garrett County’s FRC Team 1629 participation at the World Championship in St. Louis on April 23-26. Among the 400 teams competing, the team had a 5-5 win-loss record and ended up 45th in its division. The team started the competition strong winning its first three matches.  However, some disappointing performances by its alliance partners and some other unfortunate events beyond the team’s control led to a less than perfect record at the Championship.
 
Regardless, the team represented the Garrett County Public School System very well and made Garrett County very proud once again. The team was extended an invitation to compete at the Championship as a result of winning at the Chesapeake Regional earlier this month at the University of Maryland’s Comcast Center.
 
At the event in St. Louis, the team also competed for the Championship Chairman’s Award. Being the recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the Chesapeake Regional (in addition to being the winning alliance) qualified the team to compete for the Chairman’s Award at the Championship. FRC Team 27 - Team RUSH, a twenty-five year veteran team from Michigan, earned this year’s Championship Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award in FIRST, and it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. According to team advisor, Chuck Trautwein, every year that FRC Team 1629 competes for the Chairman’s Award at the Championship level, it becomes a more effective advocate of STEM in and about Garrett County and makes the team more competitive in future competition.
 
The team further distinguished itself at the event by presenting a session at the FIRST Championship Conference which ran concurrently with the competition. Presenters included several of the high school team members and was very well received by the ninety+ in attendance. The title of the presentation was “Effective Strategies for the Advocacy & Practice of STEM in your Community.”  During the presentation the team presented its framework and vision for STEM as well as shared several award winning strategies developed to engage and prepare students for careers in STEM.
 
This season marks the tenth anniversary for the team. The team concludes this season with an overall 27-11 win/loss record. During the past ten years the team has won two regionals (2006 and 2014) and been the recipients of three regional Chairman’s Awards, four regional “Engineering Inspiration” awards, and two Championship “Engineering Inspiration” awards. The team starts its eleventh season with plans of exhibiting its 2014 robot at both the Northern and Southern Relay for Life events, the TOY (Teacher of the Year) retreat in Garrett County, the Grand Fondo, the Country Club Mall, and Grantsville Days. The team will also show its robot during several “STEM Assemblies” that the team will host in GCPS elementary schools for grades 3-5 during the month of June. In addition the team will be hosting STEM based activities at the STEM Festival at Frostburg State University and hopes to visit every third grade GCPS classroom before the end of this school year as part of a special STEM initiative they are implementing this year.
 

                                      FIRST = For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology