Nearly 3,000 visitors packed into Kettering University's Recreation Center March 5-6 to showcase the state's top high school robotics talent during the Kettering FIRST Robotics District games. Teams from Goodrich, Milford and Madison Heights were district winners.
"We’ve got spirit, yes we do … we’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?"
An old favorite cheer was put to good use when nearly 3,000 people attended the Kettering University FIRST Robotics District competition in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center on March 5 and 6. Thirty-eight teams competed at the district games in front of large, supportive crowds and several visiting Michigan FIRST teams who were already scouting out the competition for upcoming state finals in April.
Bob Nichols, Kettering’s director of External Affairs and co-chair of the PlanningCommittee for district games, said he was surprised and pleased at the large crowd that came to cheer on their favorite high school team. "We easily had 1,000 visitors on Friday and came close to 2,000 people inside the Recreation Center on Saturday – once again breaking all records for Kettering’s largest robotics event ever. What a great weekend for Kettering and FIRST,” Nichols added.
First place awards went to a three-team alliance: Team 67, Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT) from Milford; Team 70, More Martians from Goodrich and Team 910, Foley's Freeze of Madison Heights.
Second place honors went to a three-team alliance: Team 33, Killer Bees of Auburn Hills; Team 894, the Chargers from Flint's Powers High School and Team 2619, the Charge from Midland.
The event's most prestigious honor, The Chairman's Award, went to Northville's Team 548, the Robostangs, for their blend of technological skill, entrepreneurial enthusiasm and community service.
Other awards and recipients:
“Coopertition” Award: Team 67, Heros of Tomorrow (HOT) from Milford
Engineering Inspiration: Team 2834, Bionic Barons from Bloomfield Hills
Rookie All-Star: Team 3398, Crush 'n Crusaders from Detroit
Engineering Excellence: Team 1322, Grayt Leviathons of Fenton
Industrial Design: Team 33, Killer Bees of Auburn Hills
Quality: Team 67, Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT) of Milford
Innovation in Control: Team 910, Foley's Freeze from Madison Heights
Creativity: Team 51, Wings of Fire from Pontiac
Entrepreneurship: Team 27, Team Rush of Clarkston
Rookie Inspiration: Team 3421, Tachyon Techs from Marysville
Gracious Professionalism: Team 2604, Metal and Soul from Capac
Imagery: Team 245, Adambots from Rochester Hills
Team Spirit: Team 2337, Enginerds from Grand Blanc
Highest Rookie Seed: Team 3398, Crush 'n Crusaders from Detroit
Industrial Safety: Team 2604, Metal and Soul from Capac
Website: Team 2834, Bionic Barons from Bloomfield Hills
Judges' Award: Team 2054, Viking Robotics from Hopkins
This year's game is “Breakaway,” where large robots built by high school students play soccer on a 27-by-54-foot soccer field with bumpers and soccer-style goals. “This year’s game is really challenging and different from past years,” Nichols explained. “Three-team alliances attempt to earn points by collecting soccer balls and moving them around the competition field. Additional bonus points can be earned for each robot that is suspended in air on special metal poles at the end of the match. It blends all the competition of FIRST Robotics with the popularity of soccer," Nichols added.
Teams that competed at the Kettering district contest were:
Team 1, Juggernauts from Pontiac
Team 27, Team Rush from Clarkston
Team 33, Killer Bees from Auburn Hills
Team 49, Robotic Knights from Buena Vista
Team 51, Wings of Fire from Pontiac
Team 67, Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT) from Milford
Team 70, More Martians from Goodrich
Team 201, Feds from Rochester Hills
Team 245, Adambots from Rochester Hills
Team 314, Big Mo from Flint’s Carman-Ainsworth High School
Team 322, FIRE from Flint Community Schools
Team 397, the Knight Riders from Flint’s Southwestern Academy and Bendle High School
Team 468, Aftershock from Flint/Flushing
Team 470, Alpha Omega from Ypsilanti
Team 494, Martians from Goodrich
Team 548, Robostangs from Northville
Team 703, Phoenix from Saginaw
Team 862, Lightning Robotics from Canton
Team 894, Chargers from Flint Power Catholic High School
Team 910, Foley Freeze from Madison Heights
Team 1025, IMPI Robotics from Ferndale
Team 1243, Dragons from Swartz Creek
Team 1322, G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons from Fenton
Team 1504, Desperate Penguins from Okemos
Team 1506, Metal Muscle from Genesee, Macomb and Oakland Counties and Kettering University
Team 1684, Golden Eagles from Lapeer East
Team 2054, Viking Robotics from Hopkins
Team 2075, Enigma from Grand Rapids West Catholic High School
Team 2163, Chrome Panthers from Lapeer West
Team 2337, Enginerds from Grand Blanc
Team 2604, Metal & Soul from Capac
Team 2617, RoboReds from Lansing
Team 2619, The Charge from Midland
Team 2627, Grace Tech Royals from Ann Arbor
Team 2834, Bionic Barons from Bloomfield Hills
Team 3398, Crush ‘N Crusaders from Detroit
Team 3415, Rams from Montrose
Team 3421, Tachyon Techs from Marysville
The Kettering University FIRST Robotics District was one of seven district events in the state. Michigan will also have a state championship contest in Ypsilanti in early April. Nichols said that the FIRST in Michigan district competition is a model for the nation and is based, in part, on the success of the low-cost Rookie Regional hosted at Kettering University in 2008. Additionally, there will be 40 regional competitions in the U.S., Canada and Israel, which will lead to the 2010 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 15-17. For more on FIRST's program in Michigan, visit www.firstinmichigan.org.
FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is now in its 19th season and is a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology. The event is a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers.
“What a great event for our participants and our university,” Nichols added. We had an opportunity to show off our buildings and our students, who did a great job working during the entire event,” he said. “I send my congratulations to all our FIRST participants and my thanks to the many volunteers who make this spectacular event a reality.”
See a photo album of fun photos from the event.
Written by Patricia Mroczek