Team 254 Reaches Finals of FIRST Championship

Posted: April 22, 2019

Team 254, the Cheesy Poofs, spent the days leading up to spring break participating in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship in Houston, TX. The event is the world's largest celebration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) for students, drawing 404 teams from across the United States and nine countries around the world.

This year's game, Destination: Deep Space, put two alliances of three teams each into competition to place hatch panels and cargo (i.e., rubber balls) into rockets and cargo ships, while navigating unpredictable terrain and weather patterns.

The Poofs ranked first in the Turing subdivision at the end of qualification rounds, with a 9-1 record. They headed into the playoff matches with alliance partners, Team 3310—Black Hawk Robotics from Heath,Texas, Team 6986—PPT bots from Nanjing, China, and Team 948—Newport Robotics Group (NRG) from Bellevue, Washington, and won Turing with a 2-0 record. This advanced the alliance to join the winners of the other five subdivisions in round-robin play, where they succeeded in qualifying for the Einstein finals (5-0). They faced the alliance of Teams 1323, 973, 5026 and 4201 in the finals, splitting one game a piece, forcing a tiebreaker, which they lost 103-114.

Entering the tournament as 2018 champions, the students were excited to compete, and they certainly did just that. In addition to winning the Turing subdivision's Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors, they came home with the satisfaction of giving it their all, forming great friendships and representing their school well. Go Bells!

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