Robotics team goes to State
February 10, 2022
Submitted by Ron Wright
We embarked last Saturday morning on what turned out to be a multi-phased adventure. Our first challenge was to complete a virtual judging session from our parked cars at our assigned time along the way. It went well and we packed up to continue our journey with our next stop at Boeing's Museum of Flight: high flying for us tech geeks. Next stop was the University of Washington main campus where our very own Nai'a Freeman took us on a tour. Then on to the Old Spaghetti Factory for a family style team dinner. Geek fun now over, we prepared to enter the fray at the State First Tech Challenge tournament with 23 other teams, mostly from 3A or 4A schools.
It was impressive and imposing entering the Amazon Doppler building amongst the tall buildings. (By the way please thank Amazon for providing the building, parking, staffing and video production all for free.) Then our real learning began. We found that while we did quite well at the Regional tournament, the competition level at State was much higher. We entered the day about 20th and ended the day at 17th place, with only 160 points separating us from 10th place. The top five teams scored much higher. We are very proud of our team and how well they dealt with this result: always positive, thoughtfully learning, always kicking. We are already meeting to plan for next year and taking on the top teams at State, no matter what school they are from, with engineer-parents from whatever company. We ended the day with a quick visit to the Space Needle; an eye-opener for most of us.
Our next competition is on April 15 when we host the SeaPerch underwater robotics tournament at our Town pool, with the winner going directly to Nationals in Maryland. Then right after that is the return of our Wahkiakum Wohbot Wohundup on April 29 showcasing area robotics and STEM activities, with competitions and demonstrations. Find out more at the 4-H office or the school district office.