The Berlin FIRST Robotics Team traveled to New Orleans, where they placed second among 54 teams.
Students were able to engage with other students from Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas and Alabama. Students worked together, strategized, planned and executed throughout the competition.
Berlin’s incredible second place finish earned them a spot to compete at the FIRST National Championship in St. Louis, Missouri next month. Only 300 of the 2,548 FIRST teams earn a spot to the Championships each year.
The competition this year "Ultimate Ascent" was to build a robot in six weeks capable of shooting frisbees into goals on a 27' x 54' playing field, and during the match to have the robot hang from one of two 8' pyramids in the playing field.
Each rung of the pyramid climbed by a robot was worth 10 points and every disk put into the goal at the top was worth 5 points. Each frisbee shot in to a goal on either end of the field was worth one to three points. Only four disks could be carried by a bot at one time. Each round consisted of three robots versus three robots trying to score the most points to win.
Berlin went undefeated during the qualification rounds earning a 10-0 record and a second place position to start the playoffs. With the assistance of teams 3039 from Louisiana and 1421 from Mississipp, Berlin continued through the first two rounds of the playoffs undefeated and was 15-0 before losing in the finals.
During the first round of the finals, Berlin 155 and its alliance members won the first of three rounds with a score of 113-98. The second round could have been the winning match for the team, which lost by only two points with a score of 120-118. During the third and final round, 1421 lost footing on the climb up the pyramid, causing the team to miss out on 20 points when the robot deployed the four disks it carried and missed the goal. However the opposing teams picked up too many points for the missing 20 points to have made a difference. The score of the final round was 152-89.
The team used its time in Louisiana not only to compete but to show students many cultural aspects of the South. Time was spent at a local New Orleans K-8 school, recently rebuilt following Hurricane Katrina. Berlin students met with the New Orleans students and brought them donated books and supplies. Students were also shown the continued devastation in the ninth Ward, the historic French Quarter, the Mississippi river front, and an educational tour through the Louisiana Bayou.
The Mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.