Published in the Osceola News-Gazette- Around Osceola on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.
Osceola’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team 1065 is battling for a world championship title this week in St. Louis after it won first place in the South Florida Regional Robotics Competition earlier this month.
The three-day competition in West Palm Beach hosted 60 teams, representing four different countries and 10 different U.S. states.
“We’ve had some second and third place finishes over the last several years,” said Roger Johnston, Osceola High School teacher and robotics team coach. “It feels good to come out on top.”
The World Championship, which begins Wednesday and will end Sunday, is hosting 300 teams from 39 countries.
“Unfortunately we can’t take the whole team to St. Louis,” said Johnston. “But we are excited to be taking our juniors and seniors.”
Osceola’s Robotics Team, known as “The Moose,” competes across the country with help from its two main sponsors, Lockheed Martin and The Walt Disney Company.
The three days of intense competition in West Palm Beach involved a game called “StrongHold,” which is a robotic version of “storming the castle,” according to Osceola School district officials. Team 1065 made it into the finals, ranking in third place. The team then went on to upset the first place competitor to win the final competition.
Team 1065 is made up of students from Osceola High, Harmony High, St. Cloud High, and the Professional and Technical High School who work together and build their robot in the Engineering Lab at Osceola High School.
The team finished seventh earlier in the month at the Orlando regional at the University of Central Florida.
They made minor adjustments to the robot, but proved to have everything ironed out at the West Palm Beach competition.
“We were able to take notes and work out a couple of bugs, and make some slight changes in programming,” said Johnston. “We were way more efficient in this game.”