The Burroughs High School Robotic Burros 7422H team continued the legacy of excellence at BHS by winning the VEX Robotics League Championship this past weekend in Bakersfield. Their performance qualifies them for the state playoffs, where they will have a chance to advance to the World Series.
Every year VEX changes the game, with this year’s challenge being a version of disc golf. Students build and program robots that can control opportunities at different points on the field.
This year’s winning team includes Jonah Gilbert, construction worker and co-captain; Keron rank, builder and driver; Ilya Rosal, Programmer. Logan Elwell, mason and co-leader, Matthew Sorensen, builder; Roxy Boggs, Notebook; Mikaella Juico, notebook; Amanda Huynh, notebook; and Juliana Davignon, Director.
BHS Robotics consultant Damien Jacotin said the team’s outstanding achievement was a result of the time and dedication they’ve put in since last spring. “They spent their lunches, free periods, and every spare moment perfecting their robot and making their ideas a reality,” said Jakotin.
He said that bots are always a test of perseverance. “Their first design they did failed. However, after making a reliable robot that was used to win the division, they wanted to improve even further. So they are currently working on conquering what failed previously.”
Logan noted that the team won every game in the latter competition except the first, where a firmware bug undermined them. Matthew noted that they also took second place in the Skills Championship – giving teams a chance to show off their programming and driving prowess. Elijah was happy because the self code he had written for the robot worked in its time of need.
“Our win rate in the division was 100 percent, and most of our matches were a snap,” Michaela said. Kieron added that their victory was the result of hard work throughout the tournament and their alignment with a good alliance for the finals.
The 7422B team, mostly freshmen, distinguished themselves this season with a strong record in league competitions and were recognized by the judges with the “Innovation Award,” which honors teams with robust robotics and high levels of design ingenuity.
“They did a great job,” said Jacotin.
He also commended 7422B for being competitive with mostly new members. “They were well organized and took the lead at the start of the year – they worked well as a team and gave Varsity a run for their money.” 7422B also spent many hours on his robot and helped the freshman team through their struggles.
“They are the next generation of robotics, and we hope they keep up the hard work.”
Jacotin also adopts a “rising tide lifts all boats” philosophy, stating that having healthy competition between BHS teams gives them an advantage during league competition.
Even through 7422C were newcomers, they were still building a robot that was picked by the seventh-place team. There were a few that put so much time into a robot, and accomplished something they’re proud of with all their hard work.
“Every team has worked hard and deserves all that they’ve accomplished. Varsity is on its way to saying it, and we can’t wait to see the results of their time and effort.”
The state competition will be held March 4 at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
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