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Monrovia Robotics Team's Adventure in St. Louis Competition

The young ladies of Monrovia High School's robotics team "The Kings And Queens" returned from the FIRST FTC Robotics World Championships held in St. Louis April 23-26 successful, but not triumphant.  As the team's mentor, Brian Johnson, says, "We knew going in that the competition on the field would be fierce.  When you start with nearly 4,000 teams and winnow them down over the season to the 128 best, those that remain are very, very good.  Since this was our first time competing at this level, we didn't know what to expect so we had a few basic goals of giving a good account of ourselves on the field, making an impression on the FIRST community, learning as much as we could, and having fun."

On the field the team posted a respectable three wins and six losses and finished ranked 100 out of 128.  Two of the matches were lost by less than ten points each, a difference of scoring just two of the plastic blocks that are the primary task for the robots.  It was the goal of "making an impression" where the team really shined.  Holding court from the purple and gold pavilion that was their home base and marketing billboard, the ladies in the purple velvet dresses charmed one and all.  They opened the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper one morning to a story about girls in robotics and found two of the team members in a photo accompanying the article.  The team was asked by the FIRST organization to co-star in a video to be used to promote FTC Robotics next season.  The team pavilion became a favored stop for VIPs, sponsors and dignitaries as they were escorted around the event by FIRST guides, and many people made a special trip to see "the cool purple robot with all the jewels."

 "Going to the World Championship was a great experience for the team," says Johnson, "they made a lot of friends, and really put Monrovia on the map in the FIRST Robotics world.  They are already making plans for next year to earn their way back to the Championship in 2015 and be a much stronger competitor by applying what they learned this year.  Now they know exactly what it takes."  As an example to work toward, The Kings And Queens can look to the tournament champion team, "Hot Wired" from Portland, Oregon and the overall top Inspire Award winner, "The Bears" from Mexico City, Mexico.

The Kings And Queens thank the Monrovia business community, the Monrovia Unified School District, Monrovia High School and the people of Monrovia for supporting them so enthusiastically.  Without the financial support and encouragement they received, they could never have accomplished so much.

The Monrovia High School Robotics Program will be putting on a robotics demonstration as part of the Monrovia Day festivities at Library Park on May 17.  Stop by and meet the Kings And Queens and all the Monrovia robotics teams and see the robots in action.

Source: press release

- Brad Haugaard

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