Jude Binkley staff writer
Members of the robotics team spent their spring break competing in the FIRST Robotics Los Angeles Regional from March 21-23 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. MorTorq was eliminated from the competition in the quarterfinals, but they won the Chairman’s Award, qualifying them for the FIRST Robotics Championship in Houston, Texas, that will take place April 17-20.
In the competition teams had to pilot a robot that they built to complete various tasks, including opening hatch panels and moving cargo balls. The team consisted of multiple parts. Builders would assemble the up to 150 pound robot in a six-week span leading up to the competition. Pilots would drive and maneuver the robot during the competition, and a business team put together a presentation that showcased the team and their process building the robot. Teams faced off in a tournament in one-on-one matches that pit schools against each other.
The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award that can be won at competition. It evaluates a team’s ability to inspire communities through STEM. Business Co-presidents and juniors Donya Noubaharestan and Eva Danesh were responsible for presenting their efforts team to the event’s judges.
“We described our team’s Developer Evangelism Program and our multiple events that impact young children,” Noubaharestan said. “One of our most successful outreach events has been MorSpeed, a robotics team based for the middle schools in our district. Our team has also created a suite of applications that can be found on the Google Play Store, Apple Store and online.”
Team members consider the event a success even though they didn’t take first place. Winning the Chairman’s Award gave them the recognition for the hard work and dedication they put into the robot and their efforts to expand robotics to youth.
“Winning this award was by far the most thrilling experience of my life,” Noubaharestan said. “All of our work being recognized in front of thousands of people truly gave our team the drive to continue empowering future generations. I am beyond proud of our team.”