FIRST Tech Challenge, Hawks Fly On

Los Alamos Middle School’s Hawks FTC robotics team won the prestigous ‘Think Award’ for the second year in a row. Courtesy photo
The Hawks FTC robot. Courtesy photo
Hawk’s Robotics Team 

What inspires you? Is it a sunrise, sunset or a baby bird taking flight for the first time? Is it seeing a jet flying over the horizon or someone overcoming cancer? Is it seeing young people reach out to the community to make the world a better place or how about a group of young people winning the biggest award the FIRST tech challenge (FTC) has to offer?

The Hawks FTC robot. Courtesy photo

Well, the Hawks FTC robotics team won the “Think Award” for the second year in a row at a Dec. 13 competition. This award recognizes our engineering notebook, which records our journey in solving this season’s robotic challenge. Even better, we showed for the Inspire Award, the most prestigious of First awards and by doing so, won a place at the Arizona Regional Championship tournament in Flagstaff, Ariz., Feb. 21.

As I said in a previous story, “The Hawks shall rise again!” and we did. We soared to our competition and showed for the Inspire award. This was no small endeavor, although it was third place, it is an amazing feat for our still new team. The challenge this year is to gather various sized plastic balls and score them in various sized tube shaped goals. Sounds easy doesn’t it? However, it is not.

The designs and engineering are at the maximum for a robot that must fit inside an 18-inch cube. The robot must reach a full standing height of 130CM for the tallest of goals. The creativity necessary to accomplish the build was through the roof, as were the expenses. If it weren’t for ASME, LANL Foundation, MCAD Technologies, Stratasys, Solidworks, LANB and all of our sponsors, we would not be moving on to state championships.

Our new robot, EPIC (Energized Perfectly Imagined Cyberbot) has a few glitches, but, can you name anything that performed flawless on the first test? In our next competition we have strong belief that EPIC will be, well epic. The Hawks FTC say thank you so very much for your continued support!