The Grandview Heights High School FIRST robotics team had a big weekend at the regional championship in Pittsburgh.
The squad not only won the robot competition, it also won the Chairman's Award at the event, held last Thursday through Saturday, March 14-16.
"It was a huge weekend for us. Just huge," team adviser Sue Godez said. "It means we earned a double invitation to the world championship," set April 24-27 in St. Louis.
"We've won the robot competition before, in 2005, but we've never won the Chairman's Award," she said. "It's the highest award FIRST offers."
The Chairman's Award honors the team that judges consider to best represent a model for other teams to emulate.
"Our team is totally a class act. I'm so proud of them," Godez said.
The Grandview team members treat other teams with respect and "never bad-mouth each other" during the sometimes-stressful process of designing, building, testing and running their robot at competitions, she said.
"Our motto is 'student-designed, student-tested, student-run and mentor-approved,' " Godez said. "Our mentors are so wonderful because they appreciate and respect the importance that our students learn by doing things themselves."
Grandview is a veteran team, with 10 students who have competed in FIRST for four years, she said.
This year's FIRST competition involves building a robot to toss as many discs as possible into an ascending set of goals during a two-minute, 15-second match. The higher the goal in which the disc lands, the more points the three-robot alliance receives.
The match ends with robots attempting to climb on pyramids located near the middle of the field. The robots score more points the higher they climb.
"Our robot was really well-designed and -built this year," Godez said.
Grandview had to make only one adjustment to its robot at the regional event, she said.
The team will next compete April 11-13 at the Chesapeake regional in Baltimore.