Submitted Story —
The Shorebots regular season came to a conclusion this weekend at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship in Hampton. The Shorebots were in the top five at the end of days one and two, but ultimately ended the competition in 14th place out of 60 teams (the best of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.).
Qualifying for the championship and peforming well among strong teams was a huge accomplishment for the Shorebots. A small team of seven students from a rural area showed they can compete with teams of more than a 100 students and much larger budgets.
Aside from their on-the-field play, the Shorebots walked away with two awards this season: The Industrial Design Award (week one event) and Quality Award (week three event). The team learned new skills and made new friends and connections. They represented the Shore with gracious professionalism and turned a lot of heads this season. Judges, sponsors, students, and school administrators had their eyes opened to see how successful the robotics program is in Northampton and the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Students in Northampton’s school system experienced watching the competition live in the classroom for the first time. New STEM labs at the elementary schools just had their ribbons cut, creating a pipeline for all students to expand their knowledge and skills. The exposure of this season is creating opportunities for a strong program moving forward.
The experience given to students through FIRST Robotics goes beyond building a robot. FIRST Robotics is about building better human beings. The Shorebots are already looking ahead to the offseason, where they are looking to learn skills such as building a new style of drivetrain, learning Computer Aided Design (CAD), and improving the current robot to compete in offseason events. There are several teams where new friendships were formed that are willing to collaborate with us and share knowledge, based on the core principles of FIRST Robotics: “Coopertition” and “Gracious Professionalism.” Look for the Shorebots on and off the field.
The Shorebots would like to thank every parent, sponsor, school administrator, alumni, and friend of the team who believed in their mission and contributed to their accomplishments.