Robotics teams compete in New York

Robotics teams from Austintown Fitch and Girard high schools both made it to the quarterfinal rounds before being eliminated this weekend at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics regional competition in Troy, N.Y.

Mark Plant, a coach in Girard, said the competition started out a little rough at first.

”We had to make a few changes to the robot and then made it to the quarter rounds,” he said Sunday.

Judy Barber, a co-adviser for the Girard Robocats team, said Sunday that both Girard and Austintown teams were knocked out after three matches in the quarterfinals of the New York Tech Valley regional competition.

Austintown’s Fitch Falco Tech FRC 3193 was presented the Entrepreneur Award at the competition. Girard was selected as a First Round Pick for the No. 4 Alliance.

Barber said Girard’s season and robot are dedicated to Emil David, a founding member of the Girard program, who died in December at age 87. A memorial plaque is being prepared for David. An Emil David Memorial Scholarship is also planned in his memory.

In 2013, the Girard team had its best season of 15 years, winning two regional events and making it to the world championships in St. Louis. Girard was one of 16 teams out of 3,000 nationwide to win two regionals. Girard has been competing for 15 seasons.

Teams from Girard, Champion, Cardinal Mooney, Canfield and others will compete this weekend at a regional competition at Cleveland State University. The Champion Lightning Bots also will compete in Chicago in April.

The Harding Delphi Elite Team 48 will compete in three competitions in March and April.

Teams will also be holding fundraisers to cover trip covers. Girard has a beach party dance from 4 to 6 p.m. March 28 at the high school for students in grades fourth to sixth.

Robotics teams in Trumbull and Mahoning counties spent six weeks constructing and programming their robots for regional competitions starting in March.

In Trumbull County, teams from Girard, Champion and Warren G. Harding and in Mahoning County, teams from Austintown, Canfield and Mooney constructed their robots. They used the many snow calamity days to work on the robots.

Barber said, “It’s all about inspiring students to go into those fields, pairing them up with real life mentors and showing them what fun science can be and technology.”

FIRST is designed to inspire children and teens to become involved in using science and technology to solve problems.