BHS secures spot at state robotics competition

BHS secures spot at state robotics competitionPictured: 7422H members with their robot and latest VEX trophy. — Courtesy photo

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By EMILY ARALAR

Burroughs High School Correspondent

Competing at the VEX Robotics finals on Dec. 16 at Sultana High School, the Robotic Burros advanced to secure their spot at state-level competition.

The Robotic Burros, known as Team 7422H, is one of two BHS teams competing. It includes leader Sarah Bartels, Aidan Murphree, Akif Dhar, Madison Japp, Victoria Pillers, Zechariah Rosal, Jeremiah Solway, Zeneve Jacotin, Rachel Rosal, Cameron Thornton, Brisa Porter, Emily Haugen and Emily Aralar. The team was competing with its robot Papi, re-engineered in October for improved speed.

During the competition, the students remotely control the robot to stack smaller cones on top of larger cones and deliver the stack to a qualifying “end zone” for points.

Only four teams in the league qualify for the 2018 California VRC High School State Championship and the Create U.S Open Competition in Iowa. Qualifiers include three alliance champions and the recipient of the Excellence Award.

Team 7422H won this honor, the highest of the competition, despite being eliminated in the semifinal round.

Judges stated that the award was between the Burroughs team and the first-place team, but since Burroughs’ engineering notebook showed all of the requirements, 7422H prevailed.

Dhar reflected on the team’s accomplishments and areas for improvement.

“Sadly, we didn’t get the team that we wanted to ally with, but we did pretty well,” said Dhar. “Our alliance kept stalling out, and I think the judges noticed that during the competition. We have a lot of work to do before going to the state competition and nationals.”

Senior Zechariah Rosal said he was genuinely surprised by the victory and the award ceremony announcement.

“I didn’t think we would actually win anything,” said Rosal. “We were the last one they called up to get awarded.”

“When they called our name for the Excellence Award, I just couldn’t comprehend it, and I didn’t actually realize until we were on stage that we were going on to state and nationals,” said Bartels.

“Our team has been constantly improving for every competition. I believe our ability to comprehensively explain the process of building our robot showed the judges that we deserve the award.”

Robotics Advisor Damien Jacotin praised the team’s efforts.

“I am very proud of these students,” he said.

“They spent many hours working toward this achievement. I hope to have the entire school and community’s support in this endeavor.”

Another Burroughs team took home additional honors. Although eliminated in the semifinals, Team 7422C won the Teamwork Award, which is presented to the school or organization that has built a sustainable robotics program with collaborating teams.

Story First Published: 2017-12-22