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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Robotics team advances to Global Championships

The robotics team at the  Botball Regional Tournament earlier in April.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Dunston
The robotics team at the Botball Regional Tournament earlier in April.

On Apr. 18, WJ’s Robotics team placed third at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Botball Regionals. Additionally, they earned the Judges’ Choice Award for Excellence in Engineering.

This means that they will be attending the Global Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. this summer.

“We usually are one of the top teams in the region, so I can’t say I wasn’t expecting to make it this far,” said Ari Mendelson, a junior on the robotics team.

Technology Education teacher and team sponsor George Lavelle agrees, saying that the team has made it this far in years past. In 2007, the team won first place in the Global Championships.

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He said that robotics requires some extra technical knowledge besides what is taught in the Foundations of Tech class, which he teaches.

“[They] use not only the skills they learn from school, but also some more computer programming and trouble-shooting skills,” said Lavelle.

At a typical robotics competition, teams are made to build a robot under a time limit. Then, they must have the robot independently perform simple tasks, such as picking small objects up, in front of judges. The robots that perform most impressively score the most points.

Mendelson believes that the team can win the championships this summer, with a little hard work.

“Other teams have a lot more people and time than us to work on perfecting their robots and strategies, but it is certainly possible for us to overcome these challenges,” said Mendelson.

The robotics team meets every day at lunch in room 211 from January to March/April.

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Leila Siegel, Online Feature Editor
This is senior Leila Siegel’s second year on The Pitch Online as the Online Feature Editor. Besides writing articles, Leila participates in the school’s symphonic orchestra and WJ S*T*A*G*E’s pit orchestra. She is also involved in the Black Student Union, Amnesty International club and the Read, Grow, Live Club. In her spare time, Leila enjoys sleeping and watching Netflix. She is excited to see what this year will bring to The Pitch Online. [email protected]
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