On Saturday, February 11, the SPA Upper School robotics team competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Robotics Competition for the first time in program history.
The state robotics competition is split into three rounds: the qualifying round, the semifinals, and the finals. In the qualifying round, the Spartans won five of six matches and advanced to the semifinals. The Spartans were ranked fifth overall heading into the second round of competition and were performing very well. In the semifinal matches, however, the team lost (1-2) to some formidable opponents and did not qualify for the finals.
In team's inaugural season, head coaches Dr. Kate Lockwood, Upper School Director of Computer Science and Engineering, and Meghan Bjork, Upper School science teacher, were overjoyed with the student's performance at the state competition, sharing: "They did great! It was an extremely exciting and successful first year for Spartan Robotics."
The Spartans were one of only 48 teams in Minnesota to qualify for and compete at the state tournament. They earned their spot at State as part of the winning "alliance" (a cohort of three teams) at the qualifying tournament in December. This year's team included Henry Cheney '20, Anthony Dierssen-Morice '17, Daniel Ellis '18, Isaac Fink '19, Grant Gunderson '18, Michael Hall '18, Ross Kirby '17, Gabriel Konar-Steenberg '19, Web Lehmann '18, Andrew Michel '17, Dina Moradian '18, Michaela Polley '19, Ian Scott '17, Iris Shaker-Check '19, and Imran Umer '19.