CSM Robotics Challenge Results for Senior Division Competition, April 9
College of Southern Maryland Coordinator, PAX/UMD Engineering Program Robert Marino, with mic-headset moved between two fields of play at the colleges Southern Maryland robotics competition April 9, providing play-by-play and color commentary.
In the background, the music track mixed by Francisco Legaspi of CSMs Information Technology Department played a steady techno beat, keeping pace with the level of excitement of the 31 teams from 14 area high and middle schools.
Event volunteer Lydean Spangler, mic in hand, kept the matches moving by announcing queuing of teams, her volume adjusted to encourage swift action. And, if you listened, above the applause, cheers and banter among teammates, the robot motors could be heard whirring and zooming, and sometimes crashing, in the ring.
These are the sounds of a successful competitionone that through its many components prepares students for the real-world life of engineers. From out-of-the box thinking and problem-solving, to teamwork and collaboration, to competition and gracious professionalism, robotics events promote exuberant creativityand offer consolation when creations dont work as designed.
For the team of SPEAR-it, from SPEAR (South Potomac Educational Alternative Resource) Academy, a homeschool support group, the competition was a success and they needed no consolation. The team earned the Excellence Award, the highest honor given out in VEX robotics competition, the Robot Skills Award, the Robot Programming Award in a tie with a team from the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center and earned the Tournament Champions Award along with fellow alliance teams from St. Marys Ryken High School and Kings Christian Academy. Teams who won these top four awards have been invited to the 2012 VEX championship.
CSM Foundation Director Al Leandre, president and chief executive officer of Vyalex Management Solutions, in his welcoming remarks told students that although this competition is a game, their future engineering endeavors could have life-changing and life-saving implications.
For example, in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, U.S. scientists provided robotic assistance to workers at the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, said Leandre. Robots with mounted cameras and sensors built to withstand high levels of radiation provided visuals, radiological surveys and mapping data from within areas of the plant that are not accessible or safe for people. Among the U.S. team were 40 robot operators and programmers, not unlike the students involved in the days competition, said Leandre.
CSMs Southern Maryland Robotics Championship received major sponsorship from BAE Systems, silver sponsorship from TIME Center, PNC Bank and the Patuxent Partnership, and bronze sponsorship from Charles County Technology Council, CSM Foundation, SAIC and Energetics Technology Center.
On April 27, the Spangler familys homeschool team of Under the Son, of Hollywood, will be one of the teams representing Maryland at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championships in St. Louis.
On May 7, elementary and middle school teams from Charles and St. Marys schools will compete at CSM, with Calvert schools already competing on April 2.
From the first competition in 2006 with just two high school teams, CSMs robotics championships have provided exposure to engineering, computer programming and teamwork skills to thousands of students not only in Southern Maryland, but across the state and across the ocean.
For information on CSMs robotics competitions and results, visit http://www.csmd.edu/roboticschallenge/.
Autonomous Connection, Huntingtown High School
Calvert High A, Calvert High School
Calvert High B, Calvert High School
Plum Point, Plum Point Middle School
Northern Patriots, Northern High School
Panthers, Patuxent High School
La Plata, La Plata High School
McDonough High, McDonough High School
Piccowaxen, Piccowaxen Middle School
Thomas Stone 1, Thomas Stone High School
Thomas Stone 2, Thomas Stone High School
Westlake 1, Westlake High School
Westlake 2, Westlake High School
Westlake 3, Westlake High School
St. Marys County
Gearheads, St. Michaels School
Hornet 3, Great Mills High School
Hornet Buzz, Great Mills High School
KCA, Kings Christian Academy
Pacman, Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center
Raider Robotics 1, Leonardtown High School
Rob2.0, St. Marys Ryken High School
Roboco, St. Marys Ryken High School
Ryken, St. Marys Ryken High School
Shaazam, Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center
SPEAR-it 1, SPEAR Academy
SPEAR-it 2, SPEAR Academy
St. Marys Ryken, St. Marys Ryken High School
Techno Terror, Esperanza Middle School
Thunder CATS, Spangler Robotics/SSI Robotics
Thomas Stone 1 (898-A)
Presented by Randy Gross, NAWD-AD Robotics Outreach
The Support Award is presented to a team that is always willing to help other teams in need of assistance. There are many forms of support that can be given at an event. Leadership, expertise, knowledge and encouragement are some of the most important which make a team worthy of this recognition. This team helped others by providing material support such as batteries and gears. They went out of their way to assist others in need. Also they reached out to others in forming alliances.
La Plata (898-C)
Presented by Jason Gousy, NAVAIR Electrical Engineer
The Cooperate Award is presented to a team that demonstrates extraordinary teamwork. This award recognizes a teams season-long commitment to cooperation and mutual respect both within the team, and to others on the field of play throughout the event. This team was very diverse and composed of fully contributing members. All team members worked well with each other and at a level beyond what would be expected of such a new team.
Autonomous Connection Huntingtown High School (1668-A)
Presented by CSM Professor and Biological and Physical Sciences Division Chair Bill Montgomery
This award is presented to a team recognized for making a difference in the community. This team demonstrated strong community building skills and has made many contributions to help support students and teams beyond their own school. This award is given to a team that makes a concerted effort to raise support in their community for technology and education programs. This team helped several local teams start in the VEX program. They have been mentoring middle school teams and recruiting at their own school for future team members.
Thunder CATS Spangler Robotics (2843)
Sponsored by Patuxent Partnership
Presented by Flight Test Engineer Scott Buttrill, NAVAIR
The Future Award is presented to a team that demonstrates how the efforts of their team improves their school and/or community, along with showing a vision of the impact this will have on their future. This team gives the judges hope and optimism that the students of today will improve the world as the future innovators, problem solvers and leaders of tomorrow.
Panthers of Patuxent High School (5525-A)
Sponsored by TIME Center
Presented by Flight Test Engineer Scott Loflin, NAVAIR
The Innovate Award is presented to a team that has demonstrated a strong combination of ingenuity and innovation in designing their VEX robot. This award will typically recognize a specific innovative machine feature, which was designed by thinking outside the box. This teams design was very solid and well-built. The design incorporated both scoring and defensive techniques. Their ingenuity and design of the robot and their competitive strategy allowed them to focus on winning. The robots multi-faceted capabilities prepared it for all phases of competition. They utilized a unique capture cage and a counter weight on the rear to stabilize the robot. These capabilities set them apart from the competition.
Calvert High School (1670-A)
Presented by Mark Czajka, Charles County Technology Council
The Amaze Award is presented to a team that has built a competition robot that clearly demonstrates overall quality. A solid mechanical design along with demonstrated robot programming, robustness, strong performance and consistency are key attributes for this award. When the judges first approached this athletic team, the teams first question was Are we in trouble? Consistency and strong performance were defined by this team. They were often observed picking up four rings at once and required minimal tweaking between rounds.
Plum Point Middle School (3939)
Presented by CSM Professor and Engineering Coordinator Neal Wilsey
The Energy Award is decided based on team enthusiasm at the event. The winning team demonstrated boundless passion and energy throughout the competitionin the pit area, on the field, in the audience, when their robot was competing and when it was not. This team brought infectious enthusiasm to the competition by their t-shirt design, by encouraging their team members, and by their enjoyment of the competition. During their interview with judges, members often mentioned their enjoyment working with robotics. They gave energy to this event.
Kings Christian Academy (3077)
Sponsored by PNC Bank
Presented by CSM Professor Mike Richardson
The Think Award is presented to a team that has successfully utilized autonomous programming modes during competition. Quality, consistency and success of autonomous programs as well as the ability of the students to explain their programming process determined the winner of this award. This teams robot design was unique in that it used turning wheels at the end of its probe to pick up rings. Additionally, this enabled the robot to pick up multiple rings simultaneously and reverse the operation to deposit them on the stack. On the opposite side of the robot controllers had the ability to lift rings off their opponents stick.
Programming Skills Award
SPEAR Academy (855-B)
Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, Shaazam (836-A)
Presented by CSM Business and Technology Division Chair Bob Gates
This award is given to the top scorer in the Robot Programming Skills Challenge. In this years competition, there was a tie between two teams with a high score of 13.
Robot Skills Award
SPEAR Academy (855-B)
Presented by CSM Business and Technology Division Chair Bob Gates
This award is given to the top scorer in the Robot Skills Challenge. In this years competition the high score was 40.
Tournament Finalist Awards