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LAHS team places second in tech challenge

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The Los Alamos Middle School Hawk FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Team 7813 advanced to the final round earlier this month during the first FTC Regional Qualifier held in New Mexico, finishing second overall. 

The tournament was at Menual School in Albuquerque, 10 teams competed from New Mexico, Arizona and Chihuahua, Mexico. 

The Hawk team was seeded third before the final round, and was paired with Tucson, Ariz.’s Radioactive Robotics during finals, each team possessing strength in elements that complemented one another and allowing an impressive showing in finals. 

Teams have had since Sept. 7, to design, program, and assemble their robots using Tetrix parts. This year’s theme was “Block Party” and the following elements were required: the robot needed to either push blocks and/or lift and deposit blocks in an elevated basket, raise a flag five feet up a pole, and lift itself off the floor and hang on a bar. 

Although there is a local FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) for older students, and three FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams, this is the first year Los Alamos has fielded an FTC team, for grades 7-12. FTC Team 7813 also won two independent awards, the Finalist Alliance Award, and the Think Award for an outstanding engineering notebook. 

The Los Alamos Hawk team is comprised of Erin Scott, Jaryn Newman, Jessica Cooke, Joseph Thompson, Summer Bronson, Sam Crooks, Michael Peters, and Do Vo.

The FTC team is generously sponsored by the United Church, LANL Foundation, Los Alamos Public Schools, Los Alamos National Bank, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), FIRST Robotics, USA Tae Kwon Do Masters Association — Master Ron Geoffrion, Best Buy, Sam’s Club and Trinity Realty.