Liberty Robotics Team Excels in Regional Competition
Release Date: 3/26/2009 1:43:41 PM
The Liberty High School Robotics Team, the Robo-Lions, participated in the Chesapeake Regional Competition, which was held March 19-21, 2009, at Halsey Field House at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. The team placed second in the competition and won the General Motors Industrial Design Award and recognition for an outstanding safety program.
The competition was sponsored by FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international organization that involves nearly 200,000 high school students. FIRST introduces a new engineering game challenge every year and teams have a six week build season to design and build a robot to accomplish the task.
This year’s game, “Lunacy”, was played on a low friction surface, and in order to score the robots had to take special balls and throw them into baskets pulled by other robots. The game commemorated the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. The Liberty team scored 142 points and now holds an international record for most points scored in one match. This score was the highest score in the world, besting FIRST teams in countries such as Great Britain, Chile, Israel, and Canada. The team scored second in the qualifying rounds of the competition, remaining undefeated for almost two days straight, and then only losing the first place position by a matter of a few points. In the finals, an elimination tournament among the top eight robots, the Robo-Lions breezed through the first round, won soundly in the second, and lost by only three points in a hard-fought finals round.
The Robo-Lions also received the General Motors Industrial Design Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards presented by FIRST. The award celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game challenge. The judges included representatives from many major engineering companies such as event sponsors BAE and Lockheed-Martin, as well as the newly appointed Secretary of the Navy. The team was cited for incorporating robot speed with offensive flexibility, providing the ability to collect rocks before dumping. According to the judges, “This team’s robot roared like a lion!”
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is more than a battle of robots. Students run a small business, communicate with business partners and community organizations, and reach out to younger students to share their enthusiasm for science and engineering. The program also teaches leadership and teamwork and rewards “gracious professionalism” and sound safety practices.
A major goal is to establish more FRC and First Lego League (FLL) teams in the county. Currently, only Liberty High School and Oklahoma Road Middle School have teams. The team is indebted to their generous sponsors: NASA, BTR Capital Group, VoiceMetrix, Carroll County Public Schools, Bowles Fluidics, TreSys, Verizon, the Baltimore Area Alliance, Waganer Digital Video, and Signature Special Event Services. They also thank the many family and friends who have supported them all year, and their mentors.
Congratulations go to team members attending the competition: Aaron Carteaux (Captain), Kelly Heyden (Public Relations Chair), Glenn Maskell (Drive Team), Nick Canada (Junior Captain), Nick Caviglia (Drive Team), Robert Doyle, Zach Huff, Shashvat Patel, Andrew Pearman, Becky Rubin, Michael Young (CAD Lead), Adam Degenhardt (Scouting Lead), Brittany Flanagan, Alex Hazlett, Andy Horn, Pat Marsden (Drive Team), Johnathan Mayo (Programming Lead), Katie Miles (Pit Captain), Alex Bratchie, Alex Elliott, Preston Fuller (Safety Officer), Sam Young. The team is mentored by teachers Jim Deitrich and Rose Young with help from Mark and Heather Goldman, Mark Eastman, Glenn and Diane Maskell, Bob and Jeanne Mayo, Larry Rubin, Matt Carteaux and Wayne Fuller, among others. For more information on the team, see www.robo-lions.org and for FIRST information see www.usfirst.org.
There are four levels of FIRST Competition, and Liberty Robo-Lions compete in the FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC). The Robo-Lions work with Oklahoma Road Middle School’s team in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Challenge. Two teams competed in January at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Campus, and one came home with a ribbon for their creative solution to the problem. FIRST also encompasses the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high school and the Junior FLL for elementary age students.