Robotics teams from Chaminade’s middle and high school each turned in top performances at the Vex Robotics Competition held on November 22 at Granada Hills Charter High School. In all, one team from the middle school –Team 83 as they are known in the tournament circuit, and three squads of the high school’s Team 1138 competed against 34 other area teams in the 2014-15 game called Skyrise. Collectively they finished the day with five awards, two of which qualified teams for the state championship in February.
The middle school’s Team 83 finished a fourth seed after qualifying rounds, and battled through several tough elimination matches against mostly high school teams –including the second-seeded Team 1138B from Chaminade, to emerge as tournament champions and earn a spot in the Southern California State Championship. They were also recognized by judges with the Design Award; given to teams who demonstrate a professional and well-documented design process.
Team 1138, the “A” squad from Chaminade’s high school, received the tournament’s top honor, the Excellence Award, given by judges to the team determined to be best overall team at the competition. This also qualified them for a spot at the State Championship. However the 1138 team also had a world record setting performance in the Programming Skills challenge in which they scored 27 points in one minute using only programming code and sensor inputs, eclipsing the previous world record by four points. If their score remains in the top 30 worldwide by February, they will have a direct qualification to the World Championship held in Louisville, Kentucky in April.
Team 1138-B, already qualified for States at a previous tournament, finished second in qualifiers and battled through to the very last round of the finals against the middle school to finish as tournament finalists. They were then recognized by the judges with the Innovate Award, given to the team with an innovative approach to solving game challenges.
Team 1138-C, while not coming home with any awards, performed admirably despite several technical problems in the early going. This mostly rookie squad still stands an excellent chance of qualifying in their final tournament in December once they solve some mechanical issues. The young squad received much attention for their innovative design and showed great spirit in battling through challenges and breaking in new drivers.
This was likely the most productive single event in Eagle Engineering’s 12-year history; however they are not resting on these accomplishments for very long. Their next tournament is December 7 at Windward School, followed by a new season with the larger FRC robots beginning on January 3.