Olaf Verdonk, Contributor
On Saturday, Feb 12, Champlain Valley Union High School hosted the Vermont FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Championship, an international high school robotics competition.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) teams created robots to complete different challenges, connected with and mentored others in the STEM community and showcased their work at the competition.
Nineteen teams from all over Vermont participated in this year’s event, including two teams from CVU: the Varsity RoboHawks and the JV RoboRedhawks.
The Varsity RoboHawks won the Inspire Award because of their engineering portfolio presentation and help in establishing six FIRST Lego League robotics teams in the Champlain Valley School District middle schools. The Inspire Award recognizes the team with the best designed robot, teamwork, and community outreach; this award also comes with an invitation to the World Championship in Houston.
The two CVU teams cruised through the qualifying rounds, then sailed through the semi-finals.
However, the best-of-three finals was intense. The two CVU teams worked together in an alliance against a strong alliance between Essex and U32. Each alliance won a match, forcing a tie-breaking match, which the Redhawks’ teams won by a slim 4-point margin.
This victory gave the CVU JV robotics team members a slot alongside their varsity counterparts to the World Championship in April competing with teams from all over the world.
CVU Robotics is working on fundraising to get both teams and their robots to Houston for the competition. The two teams are looking for local sponsors to help them represent Vermont. Check out their website at robohawks5741.com to help the effort.