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The Robotics team gets praise at the state competition

The FIRST Bots of Independence Robotics team, "The FBI", had its most successful showing in years at the St. Louis Regional competition, March 22-24.  The team is comprised of 25 students from all three Independence high schools, as well as St. Mary's and Center Place. 

 The students had six weeks to design and build a robot to play this year's game, which is a version of basketball.  Robots had to pick up foam basketballs off the ground and shoot them through one of four hoops at different heights; higher hoops were worth more points.  At the end of the match, robots could balance on a tilty bridge for bonus points.

 After finishing 4-5 at the Kansas City Regional, the team put in extra hours to refine the shooter and improve the mechanism for lowering the bridge.  It paid off handsomely at St. Louis, as the team won its first five matches.  After that, the bridge mechanism got damaged, which lead to a few losses before it was fixed.  Still, the team ended up with a record of 7 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie, good for 12th place out of 43 teams.  The driver, Candyta Wilford (Chrisman) was especially good at balancing on the bridge; the FBI ended up with the most bridge points of any team. 

 Three students (Candyta Wilford, Quentin Vowells, and Katie Bartels) were the "Drive Team" that operated the robot during the matches.  A number of students worked in the pit, fixing things that broke or adjusting the program.  Others scouted the remaining teams to help plan strategy, or represented the team at awards interviews.  The remainder cheered and shouted and danced in the stands.

 In the Championship rounds, we were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the "alliance" (team of 3 robots) that eventually won the whole event.  So, overall, the students have a lot to feel proud of.  Most of them will be back next year, ready for a new challenge.

 Students who attended:

Chrisman:  Katie Bartels, Trevor Frogge, Jason Gruner, Jonah Hankins, Amanda Jackson, Bobby Ketchum, Rachel Ketchum, Brenda Pineda, Becky Robinson, Brystal Smith, Kayla Smith, Kaylee Trimble, Shelby Van Veen, Courtney Waage, Eric Waage, Candyta Wilford

Truman:  Anthony Garciano, Nils Griswold-Steiner, Stevon Sickles, Garett Tucker, Lucy Wray, Quentin Vowells

Van Horn:  Brianna Goens

 St. Mary's:  Elly Fedynich

 Center Place:  Collin Smith

 Coaches:  Russell Clothier, Brad Drinkwater, Brian Holmgren, Jared Hook