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WalshBots off to a strong start to the VEX Robotics Competition Season

WalshBots off to a strong start to the VEX Robotics Competition Season

On Sunday December 9th, two Walsh Robotics Club teams competed at Quinsigamond Community College’s December qualifier attended by 43 middle and high school teams from Massachusetts. Walsh was represented by 9791B - “WalshBot Brady Bunch” composed of 8th graders Brady Levensohn, Molly O’Mara, and Paige Spodick and 9791C - “Walsh Roboty McRobotface” composed of 8th graders CJ Crocker, Liam Donovan, and Zac Dustin. This was their first competition of the season.  

9791C Walsh Roboty McRobotface - CJ Crocker, Zac Dustin, and Liam Dovan  [9791C Walsh Roboty McRobotface - CJ Crocker, Zac Dustin, and Liam Dovan]

9791C quickly asserted themselves as a solid team despite being middle schoolers.  “It was frustrating at the beginning of the tournament to be taken seriously by high school teams,” said CJ Crocker, “However, as our robot continually performed well, we found those teams more willing to work with us as equals.”  In qualification matches, the team ranked 5th, putting them in a position to select another high ranking team to be their partner during eliminations rounds. Their partner, high school team 785A from Pathfinder Vocational Technical HS gladly accepted. The alliance moved all the way to semi-finals where they were knocked out by the #1 seed alliance.  9791C also ran Robot Skills Challenge where teams show much their robots are capable of scoring without opponents on the field. 9791C was fourth ranked at the event with a score of 21 placing them 66th in global ranking of middle school teams.

WalshBots 9791C and alliance partner 785A

[WalshBots 9791C and alliance partner 785A]

9791B was a little unsure that they could be competitive having just completed their robot and did not have much practice.  Throughout the day they made their way up in rankings, ending up as 13th ranked at the end of qualifying matches. They made it to eliminations, but did not move past round of 16.

WalshBots 9791B

[WalshBots 9791B]

Capping the day were the judged awards.  9791C won the Excellence Award at the event for the best overall robotics program at the event, judges noted that they were way ahead of the high school teams in terms of engineering design, build quality, and game strategy.  The team had an outstanding engineering notebook and interview by the judges. This qualified 9791C for the Southern New England Regional Middle School Championship, which will be held at Walsh on February 23, 2019.

Asked what the favorite part of the day was, CJ responded “Beating FHS robotics in quarter finals!”.

[FHS Robotics 9421X and 9421V

[FHS Robotics 9421X and 9421V]

Walsh will be hosting middle school qualifiers January 19 and February 9, and the Middle School Regional Championships February 23.

P. Chesnais, Science Teacher and Robotics Advisor