Thirty-one robotics teams from the tri-state area will converge on the SCH Vare Field House this weekend for the FIRST regional robotics tournament. FIRST, representing the “global robotics community for young people,” runs competitions that combine “the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.” Trailers and students, along with their industrial-size robots, will stream into Chestnut Hill where SCH will host a qualifying tournament on Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19. The robots, which have been specifically designed and built to complete the challenge set forth by FIRST, (see video for details) will face off both days, from 10 AM to 5 PM (with an hour off for lunch between 12 PM and 1 PM).
Since forming a competitive robotics team 20 years ago, SCH’s Team 1218 has spent January to March hunkered down in the school’s state-of-the-art robotics lab to design and build their secret weapon for competition play. This year, they will celebrate their 20th build season with a robot named “Stinger,” which features an arm with three degrees of freedom, including a 360-degree rotating wrist, pneumatics-based intake and claw, and a low-profile swerve drive. Robotics and Engineering Department Chair Peter Randall, who leads the SCH Upper School robotics team, proudly claims: “Stinger is a force to be reckoned with!” (Watch a video from the Hatboro-Horsham competition.)
SCH’s Team 1218, a part of the 2019 FIRST World Champion alliance, draws on the talent and expertise of 40 high school students, coaches, alumni, and mentors, including parent Youngmoo Kim, executive director of Drexel University’s ExCITe Center, professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and director of the Music & Entertainment Technology Laboratory, and former 1218 team member Ellie Weinstein ’15, founder and CEO of Cocoa Press.
Spectators are invited to witness the fierce competition that distinguishes a robotics tournament—combining the intensity and talent of an Olympic event with the excitement of a rock concert—in-person @ the Vare Field House on the campus of SCH, 8000 Cherokee Street, Philadelphia 19118, or livestream @ www.sch.org.
Main Image: Springside Chestnut Hill Academy will host a FIRST regional robotics competition this weekend for 31 teams from the tri-state area. Team 1218 is pictured here at the FIRST tournament held recently at Hatboro-Horsham High School. Visitors are welcome: www.sch.org.