BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Saratoga County 4-H robotics team RoBovines outlasted 15 other teams and “won the day” at the recent FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Qualifier held this past Saturday at The Albany Academies. The RoBovines are made up of kids in grades 7-12 from across Saratoga County.
The team showcased their robotics knowledge and skills and the qualifier, and for their efforts, they won captain of the winning Robot Alliance and the Inspire Award. The team also earned second place Connect, and second place Design awards.
According to F.I.R.S.T., The Inspire Award is a judged award given to the team that best embodies the “challenge” of the FIRST Tech Challenge program. The team that receives this top award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model FIRST team. This team is a top contender for many other judged awards and is a gracious competitor, per FIRST guidelines.
The final part of the qualifier competition involved two teams making up an alliance to compete together in elimination matches, to crown a robot game champion. RoBovines went into alliance selection as the second-seeded team, and picked FTC team 24282 Hippobotamus, from Augustine Classical Academy in Mechanicville.
RoBovines and Hippobotamus went on to win their semifinal matches 2-0. After that, the teams went to the finals and won 2-1 in a best two out of three elimination. Winning the finals made the pair the event’s winning alliance, and earned them both an advancement to the New York Excelsior FTC Region championship at Mohawk Valley Community College on March 5.
Should the group excel, the ultimate goal for the RoBovines is to make it to the World’s competition in Houston, Texas for the second year in a row. Getting to Houston this year would require extensive fundraising by the youth, leaders, and families; something they were able to achieve in 2022.