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  • Writer's pictureRobodores

Houston Championships 2019

MONTEREY, Calif. – The RoboDores, a FIRST® Robotics Competition team from Monterey High School in California, has had its most exciting season yet, themed Destination: Deep Space. Presented by Boeing, the game revolved around the theme of space to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon launch.

RoboDores is one of the teams sponsored by the AEDC Air Force Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program, as many of the students have ties to the National FullScale Aerodynamics Complex.

This year the team helped host the inaugural Monterey Bay Regional at Seaside High School. Robotics instructor Robin Coyne started this process of hosting a regional when meeting three years ago, and facilitated the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District partnering with FIRST®. Along with Regional Director Theresa Bateman and Apple mentor Matt Lussier, Coyne was a part of the Regional Planning Committee and volunteered as an event manager. Students on the team did setup and teardown for the event.

This community effort involved over 50 volunteers; 16 RoboDores parents, mentors and team alumni volunteered at the Regional to help make the event run smoothly from start to finish.

The team was also able to compete at the Silicon Valley Regional. The team pulled off an exciting tie with the first seeded Team 846 at their last qualification match. Although ranked 54/59, the RoboDores were excited and started heavily planning the trip to the Worlds Championships in Houston. Through lots of hard effort, the coach, parents, mentors and students raised $23,000 for travel, lodging and competition. The students appreciate the sponsors and individuals who helped get the team to Houston and Championships.

The team spent five days in Texas to compete at the World Championships and visit the Houston Space Center. The RoboDores competed in the Carver Field at Houston, and after two full days of qualification matches finished 34th out of 68 teams.

Throughout the two days, the team encountered several challenges. The students broke, repaired and competed their robot in all qualifying events but weren't picked for the elimination matches. The team was diligent and worked hard through every issue encountered. Students on the team are thankful for this opportunity, and rookies and veterans alike viewed the experience as eye-opening into the wide world of FIRST and plan to remain active in robotics even after high school.

Scott Waltermire, Air Force director of NFAC, traveled with the team to the Championships and the Johnson Space Center. The team enjoyed having him around and he talked about ways students could become involved with aerospace and the Department of Defense. Being able to look at the different rockets and the historic mission control center that took the first humans to the moon was an unforgettable experience. A number of members on the team were awed when they first walked in and saw the Saturn V rocket, wondering how it was possible for humans to build something of that size and launch it into space.

“Houston World Championships was an eye opening experience for me. I got to see the scope of the FIRST community internationally as well as enjoy the competitive atmosphere,” said James Dodson, Scouting Lead. “The experiences I had at the world championship have inspired me to pursue robotics more passionately next season and beyond.”

Team 4255's robot during a match on the Carver field.

Preparing for the team's next match on Carver.

Nathaniel Warfield (right) and Luke Waltermire (left) lift the robot off the field after a match.

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