On March 4, out of 126 active teams in the state, the top 36 competed at the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championship. Four UCFSD FTC teams competed and had a strong showing.
The competition consists of two components: the robot matches and the presentations/judging. All four teams competed well in the robot matches, with UCFSD's Green Lemons finishing the qualification matches ranked 2nd overall. The top four ranked teams from the qualification rounds each choose two other teams to be part of their "alliance", with the four alliances competing in a final-four-style bracket where each matchup is a "best of three matches" to determine the winning alliance. The Green Lemons selected UCFSD's Silver Wolves as well as the Raiderbots of Coatesville Area high school as their alliance partners, and together they decisively won the state semi-finals two matches to zero, before falling two matches to one in the high-scoring and closely contested finals.
There are only seven judged awards given at the state championship. UCFSD's Flaming Phoenix won the Design Award, awarded to teams for a robot design that is both functional and aesthetic, for their strong use of custom-designed 3D-printed parts with their signature black and red color scheme. Silver Wolves won the Think Award, given to the team whose engineering portfolio documentation best reflects the journey the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. UCFSD's Two-Eyed Illuminati placed 2nd for the Connect Award, which highlights teams who connect with the STEM industry community, and placed 3rd for the prestigious Inspire Award, the top overall award which is given to teams who perform well in all areas of judging and are an inspiration to other teams.
While this concludes this year's FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics season for our UCFSD Robotics teams, keep an eye out for information sessions in May to learn how UCFSD students of all ages, elementary school through high school, can learn about and participate in fun and exciting robotics programs from Lego Robotics (FIRST Lego League) for grades 2 through 8 to FIRST Tech Challenge robotics for grades 7 through 12.
The following three-minute video is of one of the semifinal matches at the PA State Championship featuring two of our UCFSD teams - the first 30 seconds of the match are autonomous (robot performs tasks on its own based on a program that the team wrote), and the next 2 minutes are driver-controlled: