A Standard and Example Set

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The Regal Eagles robotics team is set for a challenge at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition World Championship, to be held in Detroit, Mich. from April 24-26. This marks the third straight year that the Regal Eagles are contenders in this event.

Seniors Blake von der Esch and Morgan Heller have been part of all three previous trips to the FIRST World Championships as four-year members of Team #2869. Both students have witnessed the growth of robotics and science at school and in regional events. There were 54 participating teams at the New York City Regional on April 6 and 7, including groups from China, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“Robotics has definitely helped me develop as a person,” said Blake. “There are things we have learned outside of the classroom including team work, working on real world problems and working on time crunches.”

“Being a part of the robotics team has given me a non-technical point of view of how many companies operate,” Morgan explained.

The Regal Eagles experience has helped each student individually prepare for college and beyond. Blake has enrolled at Northeastern University for the fall with plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. Morgan will major in business management at nearby SUNY Farmingdale. 

While the team built the robot during a six-week window in January and February, members meet year-round to discuss methods and strategies. The intense six-week-long preparation period involved after school work, sometimes until almost 9 p.m., and students also dedicated the majority of their Saturdays. The work ethic and dedication demonstrated are just two of the values learned by students and alumni of Regal Eagles.

“It is such a unique experience being part of FIRST Robotics that you will never experience anywhere else,” said Blake. “The program is expanding massively.”

The goals of the team at the championships are to continue to fix the flaws of their robot, reach the Einstein level once again and improve upon their success and results from last year. However, no matter the outcome, Blake, Morgan and the entire team have set a standard of excellence for future robotic teams and students in the district.

“Blake and Morgan’s contributions have been more than just the development of the robot,” said Director of Technology, Andrew Choi. “This team has pushed through adversity and put together a body of work this year to earn a place in Detroit.”

The district wishes the Regal Eagles the best of luck during the FIRST World Championships! 

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