Tri-Village News

Robot pride: Board lauds FIRST team

Robotics team earns second-place finish at world event


The Grandview Heights school board May 21 recognized the Grandview Heights High School FIRST robotics team and the Edison Intermediate Middle School Science Olympiad team for their successful seasons.

The FIRST team had its most successful season ever, culminating with its achievement at the world championship last month in St. Louis.

At the championship, Grandview was assigned randomly to one of four 100-team divisions. At the end of the qualification matches, the school was in second place out of the 100 teams in its division.

That meant Grandview was in the top eight of all 2,605 teams that competed in FIRST robotics this year, adviser Sue Godez said.

The team qualified to serve as captain of the second-seeded alliance going into the elimination matches and finished as semifinalists in its division.

Grandview's animation entry also finished in fifth place in the championships.

Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said he was able to attend the championships "and as soon as I entered the door, there were kids talking to me about their pride in their robot."

What was most impressive, O'Reilly said, was that in Grandview's pit, there actually were students working on their robot, not adults, as was the case with many other schools.

"I'm not sure adults were allowed in our pit," he said.

One of the keys to this year's success was that the 23-member squad had 10 seniors, said Zach Clemens, one of those seniors.

With their experience, the seniors did much of the work on the robot, but also made sure to teach the underclassmen "what we were doing" to prepare them for next year, he said.

The situation was different during their freshman year four years ago, senior Kyle Modlich said.

With few seniors on the team, "it was an accomplishment when the robot ran," he said. "Four years later, we were aiming to win the world championship."

In regional competitions this season, the high school was in the top-ranked seed alliance at the Chesapeake Regional in Baltimore and finished as semifinalists. The school also was awarded the GM Industrial Design Award for having the top robot.

At the Pittsburgh regional, Grandview won the robot competition as well as the Chairman's Award, doubly qualifying members for the championship in St. Louis.

Earlier this month, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring the Grandview FIRST team for its accomplishments. Team members attended a ceremony at the Statehouse to receive their recognition.

At its May 21 meeting, the school board also recognized the Science Olympiad team for finishing 11th out of 40 teams April 27 at the state tournament at Ohio State University.