Robohawks compete in regional competition

Kaitlyn Franklin, Writer

On any given day from 6-8 pm if you walk to F-hall, you’ll notice the normally quiet hallway bustling with students. Some will be using power tools, others may have their heads buried into their laptops, but these students all have one thing in common, they are apart of the Hazelwood Central High School Robotics Team, the Robohawks, working nonstop every school year to produce award-winning robots and team members. 

In September the team is split into three different groups due to its size. These groups have six weeks to create a robot that is designed to complete different tasks, with hopes to advance from the local level to the regional, state, and national levels. Central is represented by teams 289, 290, and 291. Team 290 captain Jessy Baldwin, a sophomore, describes her teams problem-solving skills as exemplary. 

“I’’ve never been more proud of my team and their ability to problem-solve in such a short amount of time,” said Baldwin.

Robohawks team 290 recently competed in the Eastern Conference Qualifier on Saturday, February 22 with hopes to advance to the state competition. Senior Sheridan Thomas, who is captain over the group as a whole, was proud of the team’s advancement. 

“They’ve had strong leadership and dedication which is the reasoning behind them being the only team [from Robohawks] to advance [to regionals],” said Thomas.

During the competition, the team alternates between competing on the red or blue alliance with another team. Once gameplay begins it is split into three segments, a 15 second autonomous period where the robot can only perform pre-programmed actions to score points and a 2 minute and 15 seconds driver-controlled period where the teams compete to earn points by placing “stones” in their area and by building the highest skyscraper without it toppling over. 

At the end of each match, the winning teams rise in the ranks, the final goal of these matches is to be one of the top four teams to have guaranteed advancement into the playoffs. These top four teams become alliance captains and can then pick two additional teams to support them throughout the playoffs. 

Once it’s down to the final two alliances, they compete for their chance to advance to the state competition in March. The team placed 23 out of 36 overall on Saturday. But unfortunately the Robohawks will not be advancing on to State competition. 

Despite the disappointing outcome, team captain Jessy Baldwin is still holding her head up high.

My teammates put in so much effort and I will forever be proud of them, and of myself for leading the team to the best of my ability,” Baldwin said.

Looking forward, Sheridan Thomas believes that the team has a bright future.

“Their motivation to learn and do better is something truly admirable and I hope that we can see it in other FTC teams for years to come.”