Robo Hawks Fly Into Regionals

Brielle Christianson, Photo Editor

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Flagstaff, AZ – Last Saturday, February 25, the Williams Field Robotics Club – formally known as the Robo Hawks – soared up to Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, along with schools from New Mexico and Mexico, for their first chance at Regionals.

The club tried their best, by attempting to gain the most points at the end of each round by scoring points through claiming beacons with their alliance color and their alliance partners scoring particles in the center vortex or corner ramps. Recently, the club added a lift on the front, which allowed them to lift a “Cap Ball” up to the Center Vortex – a 40 point “goal”. They practiced for hours day after day after school during the week leading up to the breath-taking Championship during the week after school, and even on Saturdays at a member’s house.

“We tried to meet as much as possible to ensure the club got their work done and the robot was fully functioning in order for us to do our very best in the competition,” said Fernanda Benitez (10).

The team unfortunately had some hiccups when the phones that controlled the robot’s programming and the controllers used to drive the robot, stopped communicating. This lead to the team being unable to control the robot at all, and the group not gaining any points. This was a major disappointment for the club, since the problem was something they couldn’t control or fix. To fix this and relieve any future problems, the club is planning on purchasing new phones to use next season when the club starts up again for the 2017-2018 school year.

“This club has achieved so much this season, it’s unbelievable how far we’ve gone this season. Regionals being the furthest we’ve ever gone, it didn’t matter if we went to Super Regionals or not; win or lose we had fun and there’s always room for improvement,” said Sean O’Hair (11).

The club’s efforts did not go unnoticed; during the Final Rounds, teams with the most scoring points get to select 2 other teams as alliance partners for the following rounds. The Robo Hawks were chosen, and competed with 2 other schools for a second chance at going to Super Regionals. During the second round, both the motor control and phone on the robot stopped functioning, and the group was left helpless on the playing field. The following rounds the robot continued malfunctioning, and the alliance was eliminated.

“It was a great disappointment to see the robot break, and for it to be out of our control was just despicable. Hopefully we can get it working again before next year, and really show the rest of our region how awesome we are,” said Alejandro Lopez (11).

To conclude the Regional Championship, teams were awarded medals based on performance on and off the field, along with grading their Engineering Notebook, where they document every detail regarding the robot and programming done in the club at their school. The Robo Hawks achieved the Enchantment Division Finalist plaque, found now on Mrs. Dubel’s classroom wall, and every member got a Finalist Medal to keep. The club looks forward to the upcoming year along with inductions for new members. Meetings will continue after school on occasion to build skills, elect members for office next year, and learn new ways of facing problems in the mechanics and programming.

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Robo Hawks Fly Into Regionals