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Monrovia Robotics Team Advances to Regional Competition



The Kings and Queens Robotics Team

Their robot, Sir Lancelot.

Ten students from Monrovia High School and their purple robot “Sir Lancelot” were one of the top teams at the Los Angeles FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Regional Championship Tournament held in Monrovia this past Saturday. Along with seven other teams from across Southern California they qualified to advance to compete with 71 top teams from twelve western states at the West Super-Regional FTC Robotics Championship to be held at the Oakland Convention Center March 27-29. Teams at the West Super-Regional will compete for the chance to go on to the FIRST Robotics World Championship to be held in St. Louis in April.

The “Kings and Queens” team, made up of four seniors, one sophomore and five freshmen, designed and built their own 18 by 18 inch robot from t-slot channel, Plexiglas, and machined aluminum to compete with alliances of robots on a 12 by 12 foot playing field. They stand out not just for their driving skill, design prowess, and their robot’s ability to quickly scoop up baseball-sized whiffle balls and deposit them in four-foot-high goals. Heads turn when they take the field dressed in their signature costumes of purple velvet gold-embroidered renaissance dresses for the girls and fur-trimmed black velvet jerkins with purple capes for the boys. They also spread the word of robotics design as they share their robot adventures with students around Monrovia as well as mentor other middle and elementary school robotics teams.

Engineer and computer programming judges from major regional companies chose the team from among a field of the top 48 FTC robotics teams from throughout Southern California as a "role-model" team for their on-field success, teamwork, inspiration to others, representation of the First Robotics program to their school and community, and embodiment of "Gracious Professionalism," the core value of the FIRST program. They were named as second runner-up for the Inspire Award, the top award given at the tournament. On the playing field the Kings and Queens were outstanding with their alliance finishing second in the tournament overall.

This is the second year in a row that the Kings and Queens team has advanced to the Western Super-Regional Championship. Last season the team went on to compete in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis where they finished ranked 100th overall for the season out of nearly 4000 FTC robotics teams worldwide. Monrovia High School Robotics advanced all five of its teams to the Los Angeles Regional Championship, which drew winners from eight qualifier competitions held across Southern California in December and January. This high school FTC after-school program is one of many opportunities supporting STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) in conjunction with Monrovia High’s Math and Science Academy.

The Monrovia High School FTC robotics program seeks tax-deductible donations and company sponsorships to help cover the cost of sending The Kings and Queens to Sacramento and hopefully on to St. Louis. Donations may be made at the team’s GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/kingsandqueens2015

- Brad Haugaard

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