Robotics Team Wraps Up Season at Buckeye Regional FRC Competition

The Upper School robotics team wrapped up its season over spring break with a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, to compete in the Buckeye FRC event. 

During the three-day competition, EA's Team 2095 and Team 2234 competed against schools from several states.

"One of the goals of the program is not just competition, but the experience of design and innovation that other teams bring to the competition," explained Upper School Science Teacher and robotics co-advisor Christy Rheam, Hon. "Our teams travel outside our region to see the scope of robotics across the country. At the Buckeye event, we had the opportunity to compete with many teams that run their programs with a similar vision to our teams’ priorities."

Upper School Science Teacher Teddy Mathisen '02 also advises the team. "Despite some tough alliance partners, both EA teams did incredibly well, representing their work and their school with confidence and independence," he said. "Additionally, the trip offered a unique opportunity for the group to grow as a team and strengthen the bonds between our team members."

The official build season began in early January as the competition game was revealed. 

EA’s two teams participated in the FIRST Robotics FRC Division at three events. "Each team spent six weeks building 150-pound-plus robots to compete in the game," said Mr. Mathisen. 

"This year’s game consisted of picking up game pieces, yellow cones, and purple cubes, and then placing them on the top of poles or on a shelf to score points," said Mrs. Rheam. "In the final 30 seconds of the match, teams try to climb onto a platform that tilts and then balance with one, two, or three alliance partners on the platform." 

Team 2095 was made up of rookie robotics students, while Team 2234 was comprised of veteran members. "Our build season begins at the beginning of December with our pre-season preparations; students work on mastering a multitude of skills to help them build the robot once the official season begins," explained Mr. Mathisen.

The first FRC competition was held March 3-5 at Hatboro-Horsham High School. 

"Our teams focused on the opportunity to troubleshoot the robot during competition conditions and establish which students would be operating the robot in competition," said Mrs. Rheam. "Both robots overcame some early technical issues and subsequently improved in both aptitude and rank across our qualifying matches. Our 2095 team was invited to be a part of the second seeded alliance for the playoffs and progressed through to the third round of the elimination tournament." 

The second competition was held March 17-19 at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. During competition weekends, each team competes in one to four practice matches followed by 12 qualification matches.

"In qualification matches, each numbered team is paired with two other alliance partners to complete the task," said Mr. Mathisen. "Following qualification matches, the top ranked teams choose their alliance partners that they will compete with in the playoffs. At SCH, both teams solidified their drive teams, which consist of a driver, operator, coach, field technician, and human player, and got some good practice in for our culminating event."

The team traveled to Cleveland from March 29 through April 2. "Despite some tough alliance partners, both EA teams did incredibly well, representing their work and their school with confidence and independence," said Mrs. Rheam. 

"With the season now completed, we will reflect upon the past season, honor our departing seniors for their leadership and standard of excellence, and look forward to future pursuits with a team strengthened and prepared for whatever the next seasons' competitions will bring," said Mr. Mathisen.

Team 2095: Daniel Adibi, Lawson Cale, David Cataldo, Paige Clemmer, David Ding, Tucker Ewan, Jocelyn Felix, Mason Jiang, Ben Klick, Luke Miller, Ava Munoz, Ishaan Singh, Ava Soroush, Abby Whitman

Team 2234: Rohan Dalal, Cecilia Doherty, Mengistie Hailemariam, Mihir Kohli, J.D. Krasnick, Maggie Lo, Aiden Lorello, Dylan Lorello, Tatum Schmedlen, Hanna Tian, Ethan Wyatt-Wang, Jaden You, Alan Zhou.

Upper School Computer Science Teacher Ryan Baber and Chris Shane '02 also work with the teams.