Park robotics: Park’s robotics team wins invitational tournamentThe Park High School Robotics team won the Minnesota Robotics Invitational tournament championship in Roseville on Saturday, Oct. 6.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
The Park High School Robotics team won the Minnesota Robotics Invitational tournament championship in Roseville on Saturday, Oct. 6.
In robotics, teams use a standard parts kit and a common set of rules to build functioning robots over a six-week period in order to complete specific tasks deemed by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The teams are led by team leaders and advisors from each school as well as adult mentors, who are generally professionals in science-related fields. After the robots are complete, the teams and robots perform in a series of competitions. The big competitions statewide are the three regional contests, where all the teams will battle to qualify for the national competition and the new MSHSL state meet.
In the Minnesota Robotics Invitational, Park was the No. 2 seeded team in the competition, which allowed them the right to select its alliance partners. Park won the first two of the three final matches, moving them onto the finals. In the finals, Park went head to head with the No. 1 alliance made up of three very experienced teams. Park won the first round by one point, lost the second, and won the third round, taking the win along with Team 2530, The Inconceivables, from Rochester and Team 3630, Stampede Robotics from Breck.
“Our new rookie team members performed flawlessly, keeping the robot operating throughout the day,” said Mike Simurdiak, Park chemistry teacher and Robotics Team 3883 advisor. “The same was true for our new rookie drive team. They had not driven the robot before Saturday, but you would not have known that as you watched them compete. The entire team showed gracious professionalism as they interacted with the other 23 teams at the innovational.”
Last year, robotics became a Minnesota State High School League sponsored activity — like football, basketball, hockey and track and field. Recognizing the importance of science and math extracurricular activities, the league voted to partner with FIRST in supporting robotics competitions.
Next, Park will compete in the Minne Mini-Regional FRC tournament on Nov. 17 at Prior Lake High School.