UNIONVILLE >> Unionville High School’s Flaming Phoenix robotics team will be competing in the 2017 FIRST Championship to be held in St. Louis, Missouri on April 26-29, 2017. FIRST Championship is a dual international-level robotics competition to be held on sequential weekends in Houston, TX and St. Louis, MO in April 2017.
To qualify for this level of competition, Flaming Phoenix has had an exciting and successful season, advancing to the Eastern Super-Regional Competition held in Scranton, through wins at the Delaware State Championship and the Pennsylvania State Championship. At the Super-Regional Competition, the top 72 teams advancing from states in the northeast from Virginia and Ohio to Maine competed for the privilege to move on to the FIRST Championship in Saint Louis. Continuing their strong performances, Flaming Phoenix placed fifth in their division of 36 teams after 9 qualifying matches, and won the 2nd place Design Award for their strengths in the design and construction of their robot, thus qualifying to advance to the first Championship in Saint Louis. The Flaming Phoenix team consists of UHS students Austin Hwa, Christy Ammon, Kaelyn Gaza, Matt Caputo, Justin Warner, Rachel Folmar, and Patton Middle School students Matt Farr, Ansh Abbaraju, and Brandon Tsai.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Following a sports model, FIRST Tech Challenge teams build, program and operate robots of their own design to play a floor game in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles, while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, sharing ideas, and gracious professionalism. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.