JH RoboBroncs look sharp at FIRST Championships

JACKSON HOLE, WYO — It’s the world’s largest celebration of science, innovation and STEM, and the JH RoboBroncs more than held their own, competing last weekend alongside 15,000 high school students from 40 countries around the world in the ultimate sport of the mind: the FIRST Robotics Houston Championships.

The Team #3374 (aka JH RoboBroncs) was honored to attend and participate in this the culminating celebration of the 2018-19 FIRST space exploration-themed robotics season. Participating robotics teams and spectators alike were treated to an inspiring and action-packed experience that has all the heart-pounding thrills and team spirit of a professional sporting event. Live robotics match coverage and behind-the-scenes highlights were also streamed on FIRSTtv.

RoboBronc robot once named ‘Kirby’ has been competing lately as ‘Bot Zoidberg.’ (Courtesy)

“Our kids and Bot Zoidberg worked it hard. We beat the top robot in the world—Mad Town Robotics—in a qual round that had been up to then undefeated,” said Gary Duquette, head coach and director of the JH RoboBroncs. “We competed against 67 teams total in the Newton Subdivision.”

Just getting the invite to Houston is a big deal. More than 94,000 students on 3,800 teams competed in the during the season. Less than 20% of competing teams go to Houston—most of those from big cities.

“Our students competed against some extremely large, well-funded, corporately-mentored robot teams” Duquette said. “We are one of only four FRC teams in the state of Wyoming. For a rural team to make it to Houston is a feat in itself.”

One RoboBronc in particular took the opportunity to shine. America Martinez was honored as a Dean’s List Award Finalist during an exclusive awards luncheon open only to honorees. Dean’s List Award Finalists are celebrated outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.

Martinez is the JH RoboBroncs business team captain and is responsible for Team #3374 outreach at all levels, including winning the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Utah Regional, celebrating outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school and community.

The RoboBroncs have over 300 students in TCSD#1 currently participating in FIRST Robotics, and has reached out to the Wind River Reservation to start a FIRST Robotics program at Wyoming Indian High School.

JH RoboBroncs are mentored by gracious local STEM professionals from Square One Robotics, Digital Recovery Network, Epsilon Technology, ILUM Health Solutions, and Jorgensen Engineering.

Check out video from Qual 10…

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