Northern Horizons robotics team at The White Mountain School had an amazing season full of multi-disciplinary exploration, triumphs and the joy of teamwork. Based in the School’s Inquiry, Innovation and Impact Lab (I-LAB), Northern Horizons works alongside other students who are pursuing STEM, LASR and mini-LASR projects with a design and build focus. The team is coached by White Mountain Director of Technology, Nathan Carlson, who also teaches Computer Programming and Photography. Northern Horizons team member Andrea Rodriguez ’20, recapped the excitement and successes of this year’s season:
Granite State District Event –
District Event Winner, Highest Rookie Seed, and Rookie Inspiration Awards
Northern Horizons, team 7416, arrived at the Granite State District Event on Thursday afternoon, where they got their robot–Murphy–ready for inspection. They were soon eager to see other robots in the Pit, the place where every team has a designated station to work on their robot between matches. During a practice match that night the team received help from Orange Chaos, team 4564, who figured out that the motors they had used for their robot’s climbing mechanism were not allowed in the rule book, and thus, needed to be removed or replaced. After removing the motors from their cases, the team retreated back to the hotel to get a good night’s rest before the long day that followed.
Because Murphy could no longer climb to the second level of the Habitat–the starting zone for an alliance in a match–the team concentrated on improving the only other task Murphy could complete: placing hatch panels on the first level of the field. Alongside other FIRST Robotics teams, Northern Horizons played a total of twelve matches. Out of these, they won six rounds.
By Saturday at noon, Northern Horizons was ranked seventeenth out of thirty-eight. Though a high ranking for their first-ever FIRST Robotics Competition, it was not enough to make the team a captain during Alliance Selection. Despite this, Northern Horizons was invited by Mechanical Mayhem, team 1519, and The Outliers, team 5687, to join their alliance in the Playoffs. Alongside the highest-ranking teams of the competition, Northern Horizons went undefeated in the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and finals, securing first place as their own and their teammates’.
Besides the District Event Winner Award and Highest Rookie Seed Award, the judges also gave Northern Horizons the Rookie Inspiration Award for the team’s determination to seek out more challenging competitions and for their ability to appropriately deal with any problems that would come their way.
UNH District Event –
Rookie All Star Award and Highest Rookie Seed Award
After spring break, the robotics team made their way to the University of New Hampshire (UNH) for their second district event. With a win already under their belt, the team passed the qualification rounds with flying colors, losing only three of their twelve matches in total. Every now and then the team encountered hiccups, but nothing they couldn’t handle in time for the next match. By the time Alliance Selection rolled around the corner, the team was ranked ninth out of the forty teams at the competition, securing them the Highest Rookie Seed Award. As the captain of the sixth alliance, the Northern Horizons teamed up with Chop Shop, team 166, and The Wire Clippers, team 5902. The alliance did not make it farther than the quarterfinals, but that did not stop the judges from giving the Northern Horizons the Rookie All Star Award for their incredible first season and perseverance.
New England District Championships –
Rookie Inspiration Award
After two successful district competitions, the Northern Horizons team was invited to attend the New England District Championship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. With the stakes higher than ever before, Northern Horizons persevered through twelve challenging matches. Though they fell behind in the rankings, the judges recognized the team’s hard efforts in the awards ceremony and gave them their second Rookie Inspiration Award. Though this competition marked the end of the season for team 7416 and Murphy, the Northern Horizons can’t wait to see what next year has in store for them!
The White Mountain School is thrilled that the Northern Horizons team had the opportunity to make such good use of the new Innovation, Inquiry and Impact Lab (I-LAB). The I-LAB’s construction was funded through, ‘Now Is the Time. The Campaign for White Mountain.’ The space includes workstations, computers with digital design software, 3-D printers, laser cutters, and robotics equipment. The walls of the I-LAB include whiteboards and glass for idea generation, project development and collaboration.