Olympic High School students are going medieval in about the most modern way possible.
The school’s FIRST Robotics Team, named T-Rex, is sponsored by Bosch Rexroth. The company donated money and expertise to help start the robotics program three years ago. Olympic was part of the winning team in the Palmetto Regional in its first year, qualifying for the national competition.
The 2016 theme is FIRST Stronghold, a medieval competition.
“FIRST Stronghold posed completely new requirements of the robots, with points awarded for climbing over, through and under various ‘castle’ defenses, throwing ‘boulders’ – volleyball-sized game balls – and scaling the castle tower walls,” said Kevin Gingerich, mentor with the team from Bosch Rexroth.
T-Rex will compete in four North Carolina district championships this year.
“In the district model, teams compete more frequently with fewer teams per event, and must first pass through the state championship successfully to compete in the world championships in St. Louis,” Gingerich said.
At the Wake County District Championship, T-Rex took first place midway through the competition and never let go. The team went 10-2 in qualifying rounds, earning the top seed for finals. The squad was able to pick partnering teams whose robots had complimentary skills to its own. The combination of The Black Knight, Sir Angstosaurus Rex and the Chosen Son of a Breach – skilled at breading opponent defenses – won the final two of a best-of-three quarterfinal matches before sweeping the semis and finals.
The team had an event high 137 points in the finals match. The win earned T-Rex a ticket to the state finals in Charlotte April 8-11.
Other competitions include matches in UNC Asheville and Campbell University.
John Marks: 803-831-8166