During Spring Break FIRST Team 836 The RoboBees attended the FIRST Robotics Central Maryland District Competition held at South River High School in Edgewater, MD. The team was once again represented by its robot as well as its students and mentors who attended the competition working as Student Ambassadors and Volunteers in support of the event. The RoboBees’ hard work throughout the year, as well as during build season, showed as the team both won the competition and received the Engineering Inspiration Award, the second most prestigious award given by FIRST. The team’s continuous efforts to better the local community, nation and world through community service and STEM outreach was recognized and rewarded with the Engineering Inspiration Award. The RoboBees finished qualification matches in first place and then led the first seed alliance to victory as Alliance Captain. This was achieved with the team’s efficiently designed and well-built robot, The War Hog, its amazing drive team, and its cooperative alliance partners, Team 1629 GaCo (Garrett Coalition) and Team 3941 Absolute Zero Electricity.
Throughout the event the RoboBees retained a Stronghold on their competition, remaining first seed for a majority of the competition. Seven ranking points separated The RoboBees from the second seed team at the end of qualification matches, the RoboBees entered alliance selection as the first seed. Diligent scouting by students throughout the competition, gave the team the tools it needed to select the perfect alliance partners for finals, GaCo and Absolute Zero Electricity. Semifinals turned out to be more stressful than expected when the intake of the team’s robot was bent in a collision with an opposing alliance’s robot during the first semifinal match. With our robot without an intake, our alliance couldn’t maximize its score. Luckily, after a timeout which gave the team time to fix the bent intake, the RoboBees were back on the field. Four matches later the team became District Champions once again, repeating their win from the Greater DC Event. With this win, The RoboBees are now ranked first in their district, the Chesapeake District, which includes Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia.