The Boyne City Blaze High School Robotics team won the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award during a Michigan FIRST District Robotics Competition on March 7 and March 8 at Gull Lake High School near Kalamazoo.
This award, one of the highest presented during the event, recognizes outstanding team achievement in fostering respect and appreciation for engineering at school and in the community.
“This (Boyne City) team is the complete package,” said the judges in making the award announcement. “After a major reorganization, they reconstructed their business plan to get their entire city involved.”
They added, “These changes will keep this team running for years to come.”
FIRST competitions challenge student teams to design and build a robot designed to perform prescribed tasks against other competitors. Students, under adult mentor guidance, also organize fund-raising, develop team skills, and promote their efforts.
“Receiving the Engineering Inspiration Award was the best feeling in the world,” said team member Kaitlyn Skornia. “It was such an honor and made all of the long hours worthwhile, and spoke volumes about the support that we receive from our community.”
This year’s game challenges teams to design a robot that can navigate the game arena, pick up or catch a 24-inch exercise ball, and toss it into a goal. Coalitions of teams gain points by catching, passing and scoring. Boyne City’s robot and team performed very well at the event, qualifying as one of the top 9 of 40 teams, becoming captain of an alliance working cooperatively to earn point in the later rounds.
Their alliance made it to the semi-finals.
The team of 23 students and 15 adult mentors and parents made the trip to Gull Lake to compete and support the effort.
“It was fun to see our robot in action and see everyone come together as a team, cheering for Boyne City,” said team member Elizabeth Mansfield.
Boyne City’s next competition will be March 28-29 in St. Joseph, Michigan. For more information about the Boyne City Blaze Robotics team, visit their website at www.boyne.k12.mi.us/robotics or contact the High School at 231-439-8130.