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Massena, SRCS students take first place in Robotics competition

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MASSENA - Massena High School Robotics team’s Robot 4124 captured first place in the “Ultimate Ascent” competition at the BAE Systems/Granite State Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Manchester, NH Feb. 28-Mar. 2. Massena competed against 43 other teams from the U.S. and Canada.

The competition required teams to construct three robots to specific standards in advance of the event. The robots had to accomplish two tasks. First, they needed to launch Frisbees at targets on an indoor playing field in two and a half minutes. Points were awarded for accuracy. Second, the robots could earn their teams bonus points by climbing the horizontal rungs of a pyramidal tower during the last few seconds of a match. The higher a robot could climb, the more points it earned

10, 20, or 30 points.

Massena’s team is made up of about 50 students from Massena and Salmon River high schools and is mentored by engineering students at Clarkson University. Representing Massena were Amber Arquiette, Jason Avery, Brianna Barley, Taylor Brault, Shane Chartrand, Meranda DeLosh, Honni David, David Elman, Luis Estevez, Evan Fregoe, Jacob LaValley, Emily Lynch, Bryce Ryan, Corey Snyder, Megan Villnave, and Tom Weitz.

Together, the team spent six weeks designing, building, and learning to operate their robots. They named their two top performers Robot 229 and Robot 4124.

In competition, both robots hit the targets with about 95% accuracy and climbed consistently to the 10-point rung.

Robot 229 was seeded 11th going into the elimination matches. It performed very well, but lost in the second round of quarterfinals.

Robot 4124 was the third highest scoring robot at the regional and went on to dominate the quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds to win first place.

The team, coached by Steve Robert and Darcie Fregoe, will compete in the Boston FIRST Regionals in late March and has been invited to attend the National Championships in April in St. Louis.

“It was the hardest fun we’ve ever had,” Ms. Fregoe said.

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