The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

The East Vision

Robotics Team qualifies for World Championship

Hallie Butterer, Staff Writer

The EGR Robotics team erupted into cheer, tears of joy streaming down their faces, as they found out they qualified for World Championship. The team’s previous first place and quality award at the Grand Valley State University competition allowed them to qualify for Worlds.

“The award single handedly allowed us to qualify for the World Championship next week in St. Louis,” Nathan Strodtbeck ’19, a Robotics Team member, said.

“For the most part we were all very pessimistic about making it to the World Championships, but we ended up winning the quality award,” Strodtbeck said.

Emily Bulkowski ’19 agreed with the surprising but thrilling accomplishment. “We did not expect it because we didn’t do too well at states.”

Strodtbeck explained that at the state competition, their big computer system, FMS, failed and caused the team to perform poorly; however, their win at GVSU helped them to bounce back and qualify for the World Competition.

“We were the sixth seed [at GVSU] and beat out number one,” Bulkowski said.

“When we found out we qualified, most everyone on the team was crying with joy because we worked so hard to just not make it,” Strodtbeck said.

Bulkowski explained to qualify for Worlds is a totality of points from two district competitions and then the State competition, which the team also had to qualify for.

“How well you do at them and the awards you win at those three competitions gets you the points,” Bulkowski articulated.

Strodtbeck also explained that each event gives the team points that go towards their final ranking, determining which teams are qualified for the World Championship.

The team will be competing amongst around 800 other teams, and they will compete in about twelve qualification matches.

“Depending on how well we do, we may get picked for an alliance and then enter playoffs with our alliance team, a team of three robots,” Bulkowski said.

The team has had other accomplishments, including a win at the West Michigan District Competition.

“We won, and that was super awesome, but one of the coolest parts was getting to see everyone on the team enjoy ‘FIRST’ and the culture as much as me,” Strodtbeck expressed.

“FIRST” is the program the Robotics Team is involved in, and it stands for “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”

East will be rooting for the team as they embark on this great challenge and honor in St. Louis.

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