Mercy’s Robotic Team wins another
FIRST Robotics championship
The Mercy TechTigers 3654 won their second FIRST Robotics championship banner on March 10th in the Waterbury District event. The TechTigers, an all-girl robotics team from Mercy High School in Middletown, excelled at this year’s game Destination: DEEP SPACE and earned the win with two consecutive victories alongside the Pi-oneers of Pascack NJ and the Gaelhawks of Shelton CT.
The Destination: DEEP SPACE game involved two alliances of three teams each competing to place hatch covers and rubber balls or “cargo” on rockets and cargo ships before returning to theirHAB (habitation) platform to climb at the end of the match. Each alliance has their own Alliance Station that is positioned at one of the ends of the field. The Alliance Station is where drivers control their robots, human players deliver game pieces to robots, and coaches give advice to their team members. Each Alliance Station features two game piece holding areas on the sides of the driver stations. Obstacles, such as a sandstorm, happen during the matches. The sandstorm is installed above each Alliance Station and is used to obscure the drive team's vision during the sandstorm period. Once that period ends, the sandstorm retracts in order to allow drivers to see the field for the remainder of the match.
The robotics event was hosted at Wilby High School in Waterbury, CT. Forty-one teams took part in the three-day tournament FIRST Robotics program. This is the TechTigers’ second win at the Waterbury event (prior win was in 2017). Teams who collect enough points in the eight-week District season advance to qualify for the New England Regional Championships at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) April 10-13.
The last time the TechTigers advanced to the New England Regional event, they went on to qualify for the World Championships, but were unable to attend due to financial stress. The team is optimistic that they will repeat that success. They rely on the generosity of their sponsors and their community to reach Detroit this season.
The TechTigers are in their ninth season in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) program. The team consists of twenty-three Mercy High School students and nine professionals who serve as mentors. The team is supported by their school, and leading sponsors; United Technologies, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Filipino-American Association of Engineers, Inc., Tsunami Tsolutions, and Karen and Tom Keenan.
FIRST, an acronym for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” was founded in 1989 to help design programs that help the building of science and technology and generate interest in the STEM field for young people. The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The TechTigers are one of only two all-girl teams of the 210 teams who participate in the New England Region.