On Saturday, January 13, 2018, five FTC (FIRST TECH Challenge - grade 7-12) teams from Garrett County competed at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, among 28 teams from high schools across the state, including teams from McDonogh School, Gilmon, Worcester Preparatory School, along with various other high schools from Montgomery, Howard, and Baltimore Counties.
The five "GaCo" teams were from Southern Middle, Southern High, Northern High (freshman), Northern Middle boys’ team, and a Northern Middle School girls’ team. With the exception of the Southern Middle team, all the GaCo teams primarily meet during the school day through the activity period. Thirty students participated in the FTC program among the five GaCo teams.
All five teams did well. The Northern High team and the Northern Middle School girls’ team entered the elimination matches as the fourth seeded alliance and won the entire tournament. In addition, the Southern High School’s team was the recipient of the Connect Award, one of the FTC's judged awards, as well as making it to the semi-finals.
As a result, the Northern High team and the Northern Middle girls’ team have advanced to the State FTC Championship at UMBC on February 17, 2018. All five teams will be competing again, in their second qualifier, at Northern Garrett High School on January 27, 2018. As of now, there are 22 teams registered.
FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) is one of four FIRST Robotics programs and targets students in grades 7-12. The other programs include FIRST LEGO League (FLL) for grades 4 through 8, FIRST LEGO League, Jr, for grades K-3, and the FIRST Robotics flagship program, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for high school-aged students. FIRST stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" and based in Manchester, New Hampshire. All four FIRST programs have been established in Garrett County.
(Right of Center): Wearing gold shirts are Caleb Frazee and Derrick Skidmore, Northern High 9th Grade.
Wearing lavender are Abygayle Bonitz, Jasmine Beitzel, and Ava Rankin, Northern Middle School 8th Grade.
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