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EHOVE robotics team places first in regional competition

Cary Ashby • Mar 20, 2017 at 7:05 PM

AVERY — The Mavericks robotics team from EHOVE Career Center earned a first-place ranking this weekend at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional at Cal U in California, Pa.

After ranking No. 1 at the end of the qualification matches, the Mavericks then won the regional competition with their alliance teams, 4-H Electrotechs from Emlenton, Pa. and Hawaiian Kids from Waialua, Hawaii. Teams are placed randomly into alliances that consist of three teams each from different schools and sometimes, different countries.

Mentor Jim McIntyre said there were 40 teams, which included two from China and many from Pennsylvania and New York.

“It was the first time we finished an event in first place,” he added. “Our kids just came together.” 

The Mavericks earned the title of 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Regional Champion. 

“We qualified for world in St. Louis in April,” McIntyre said.

During the 2017 First Robotics Competition (FRC) World Championships, the Mavericks will compete with about 400 international teams.   

Also during the Greater Pittsburgh Regional, the EHOVE robotics team won the excellence in engineering award, which was sponsored by Delphi. The honor, according to competition literature, celebrates “an elegant and advantageous machine feature,” otherwise known as a mechanism. McIntyre said the students had to explain the design and features of their robot to the judges.

The Pennsylvania competition came one week after the Mavericks and their alliance team were finalists (second place) in the Miami Valley Regional Competition. Forty-seven teams competed in the event in Springfield, Ohio.

McIntyre said the EHOVE students struggled that weekend to learn how to run their robot and getting it tuned up, but it all came together eventually.

“It was an exhilarating, up-and-down weekend,” he added.

The “build season” for a robotics team begins in January and ends in February, when competition season starts. Each year, the FRC announces a theme and each team is given the same amount of time to build a robot with the same parts and covered by the same rules.

The 2017 theme is “First Steamworks.” Teams receive points for shooting balls into a “boiler,” delivering gears in the airships in the center of the competition space and at the end of the match, for climbing a rope.

“We were ranked No. 1 in every category,” McIntyre said, referring to the most recent event.

In 2016, the Mavericks and their alliance teams won the Mahoning Valley Robotics Competition, an off-season event.

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