For the third year in a row and fourth time overall, the Shaker FIRST Robotics Team (Team #2791) will be competing at the World Championships. The most recent trip comes after winning the New York Tech Valley Regional at RPI this past weekend. The team also won an Excellence in Engineering Award, celebrating an elegant and advantageous machine feature.
The 126 member team competed over two days at RPI, first in qualification rounds where they finished second overall, and then through the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals in a three-team alliance with Shenendehowa and Bethlehem. “Teamwork is paramount,” said coach Brian Ashline. “When we get into our final alliances, we strategize on how to best complete the task.”
The Shaker-Shen-Bethlehem alliance swept through the finals, winning the Tech Valley Regional. The trip to Worlds won’t be an unfamiliar one for this team. “We’re a lot more knowledgeable in what it takes to win,” said Ashline of the team’s third straight trip. “Going to Detroit every year gives us the opportunity to learn more, compete more, and hopefully gives us more opportunities.”
The team is confident and experienced as well. The main robot controllers consist of a driver and an operator. Both Karan Yadav, the driver, and Noah Page, the operator, are seniors who started with the team as freshman. Many members of the 126-student team are also involved in scouting the other teams in the competition and learning their strengths and weaknesses.
Students on the FIRST Robotics team have logged over 6,000 hours of work since January. They meet three days a week after school, and on Saturdays. They got together for work five days over February break. “I’m incredibly proud of this team and the work they’ve put in,” said Ashline.
The work isn’t done yet. The Team #2971 heads to SUNY Polytechnic in Utica, NY for the Central New York Regional this week. And they’re preparing for the World Championships April 25-28 in Detroit, MI.