Kearny High School’s Hammer Heads recently won the Inland Empire Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.
The competition, held February 27 to March 1 at Rancho Mirage High School, challenges teams of high school students to design, build and program robots that perform specific tasks. Their robots then participate in qualifying matches where they are randomly assigned to a team of three that contends with another team of three robots.
This year’s competition was called Recycle Rush. This recycle-themed game has robots scoring points for their team by stacking totes on specific platforms, capping those stacks with containers, then using them to dispose of litter, represented by pool noodles.
The Hammer Heads were the top-seeded team after the qualifying matches, with an average score of 115.75. The highest ranking teams then select two other teams to form an alliance and participate in the elimination rounds. Kearny High’s Hammer Heads (Team 1572) chose Hawaiian Kids (Team 359) and LiveWire (Team 3562) to form the Red Alliance.
The alliances formed by the top teams are then put through an elimination-style tournament of three-round matches. When it came time for the finals, the Red Alliance had won the first round, but lost the second. In the final round, the Kearny High Hammer Heads and the Red Alliance took home the win with a score of 130-64.
This is the first time in team history that the Hammer Heads have won a regional competition. This also means that they are qualified to compete in the 2015 FIRST Championship in St. Louis on April 22-25.
The Kearny High Hammer Heads are also competing in this year’s San Diego Regional FIRST Robotics Competition April 2-4 at the Valley View Casino Center. The San Diego Regional will have 60 teams from throughout the country competing to win the tournament, along with many other prestigious awards.
Other San Diego Unified School District Teams competing include:
• Madison High School (Team 1266)
• Scripps Ranch High School (Team 4139)
• Mission Bay High School (Team 4160)
• San Diego High School (Team 4583)
• Henry High School (Team 4738)
• Clairemont High School (Team 5474)
FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Founded 25 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2013-2014 FIRST season brought together more than 367,000 youth, and volunteers filling over 150,000 roles, in more than 80 countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self-confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.