A Western Center Academy’s Mammoth robotics club team won the first place trophy on February 23 and earned a spot in the world championship tournament in April.
The winning WCA team, named the Metal Ducks, is part of the WCA’s four robot teams.
The tournament took place at James Madison High School with 36 teams competing from throughout Southern California.
“I feel very good about winning the regional,” said an excited Max Saenz, 8th grade student and co-captain of the Metal Ducks. “I feel great about representing our school.”
Asked about what the team might do differently at the global championship, Max responded, “Practice, practice, and practice.”
This year’s tournament’s challenge has four robots competing to place rings on a structure. The structure is 44-inches in height and looks like a tic-tac-toe board.
With nine peg rungs to place rings on, the robots try to score as many points as possible by placing rings on as many rungs within two and a half minutes. An opponent robot tries to do the same but also can play defense by blocking another robot’s moves.
Shelby Richards, a member of the Metal Ducks team, expressed her feelings about the big win, “I feel excited about winning and I’m so happy. We practiced driving a lot and building the robot to fit the ring dispenser better.”
Asked about the upcoming four days of intense competition at the world championship, she said, “I’m nervous and excited about going to St. Louis.”
“I don’t know how to express my elation,” said Paul Bailey, principal of the Western Center Academy. “The Ducks put in a great effort, winning five out of six matches. They battled all day long in the top three positions, jockeying back and forth with excellent teams from other Southern California high schools. It’s wonderful to see how our middle school kids kept their cool in the final play-offs. I’m very proud of their accomplishments.”
The Western Center Academy is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) charter school that educates students in grades 6 to 8. The WCA has a total of four robotic teams that compete in the FIRST robotics league. FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
The FIRST World Championship takes place April 24-27 in St. Louis.
For information about donating to the robotics team or more information about Western Center Academy please contact Paul Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 951-791-0033.
*Contributed by Western City Academy