Glenn Robotics Team Wins State Competition

April 18, 2018

A team of three Glenn Middle School students recently took home first place at the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) State Robotics Contest. 

The team of Miguel Flores-Acton, Jackson Waddington and Tommy Burney competed in the Arena Competition's Intermediate Division. In the Arena competition, teams compete against each other by building and programming a robot made of LEGOs to complete a series of tasks. This year's challenge was titled Mastering Mars.

Teams are judged by taking the average score from three separate 2-minute runs. The robots are programmed to be completely autonomous. Once a team starts the challenge, the pre-written computer program takes over and tells the robot what to do. Various sensors and motors that the team has built into the robot are used to accomplish the set of tasks. If a team member has to touch the robot or intervene, the team has to take a penalty.

Over 1,400 teams vied for a chance to advance to the state level by competing at qualifying competitions across the state. The team from Glenn qualified for the state competition by placing second at the Area competition in Ballinger. 

But this was not team captain Miguel's first trip to state. His team placed fourth at last year's state competition. The team was in the lead after the first two rounds, but a mistake by the robot in the third round cost them a first place win. 

Miguel and his team have been preparing for this year's competition since the start of the school year and their hard work paid off. The team's robot completed all 3 runs at the state competition earning them a score of 353, which was 43 points higher than the 2nd place team. Congratulations to all 3 students and their sponsor Stanley Ratcliffe.

Watch the following video to see the team's robot complete a perfect run.