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SHS Robotics Club Goes to World Championship

Snohomish Robotics Club competed with Glacier Peak during the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship held in Houston, Texas last month, bringing home some high honors including finishing fourth out of the 66 teams during qualification match and Captain of Alliance 3 at the playoffs.

The FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship featured 400 teams from across the world. The Sonic Squirrels competed in the Turing subdivision from April 17 to April 20, winning 9 out of the 10 total matches. The road to the world championship included two district competitions, including one held at Glacier Peak during late March, as well as a district championship. Winning Alliance from Glacier Peak Competition in March 2019

Besides just competing, the Sonic Squirrels also faced unusual circumstances to overcome which eventually led to a winning Snohomish team. Originally there were two robotics teams, one in Glacier Peak and one representing SHS. However, after the two original advisors of the Snohomish Aluminati decided to take a break to spend time with their new families, the SHS team had the choice to either disband or join forces with the Glacier Peak Sonic Squirrels. They have not looked back since.

 “We started the season with the goal to go to Worlds,” said the engineering officer and engineering executive committee’s head senior August Gorton. “We were trying to make a robot that was top-tier…We made major improvements between every competition just to make sure that we could keep up with the other teams as they improved their own robots.”

This year, the theme was Deep Space and the challenge reflected that. The goal was to build a robot that could manipulate “cargo,” or kickballs, as well as large frisbees called “hatches” around the field and into rockets and cargo ships as quickly as possible. The challenge was heightened as a portion of the match was completed with obstructed vision.

“It’s a blast!” said Gorton. “You get to meet a whole ton of people who are interested in the same stuff. Robotics isn’t just robots. There’s engineering stuff and operations, like running the team, so if you aren’t that interested in building the robot, there is a wide variety of interests.”