High school robotics find their crowded hour

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(LSSU/John Shibley)

Antony Gordon sits ready with his proprietary code as teammates with Redford’s Lee M. Thurston High School run diagnostics on their entry into a FIRST Robotics District Competition in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on April 1. Forty-one teams from all corners of Michigan converged on Lake Superior State University for the two-day event. Teams have had six weeks to brainstorm, design, and build a fully functional wheeled robot the size of a large dog that must cross eight different obstacles, then carry and launch 10-inch diameter foam balls into towers on opposite sides of a 27- by 54-foot field. The weekend’s top finishers press on to state finals April 13-16 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Team 4390, the ATA Coregeers, from Advanced Technology Academy Dearborn (foreground) queue for opening ceremonies during a FIRST Robotics District Competition in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on April 1. (LSSU/John Shibley)
Team 4390, the ATA Coregeers, from Advanced Technology Academy Dearborn (foreground) queue for opening ceremonies during a FIRST Robotics District Competition in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., on April 1. (LSSU/John Shibley)
Arianna Bressler, donned in Viking best, and her "Team Viborgs" from Dundee, Mich.LSSU/John Shibley
Arianna Bressler, donned in Viking best, and her “Team Viborgs” from Dundee, Mich.LSSU/John Shibley