Thomas County Central High School’s “Gold” team finished its first tournament of the year in second place.
Each of the three Thomas County Central’s robotics teams placed in the top 10 during qualifying rounds and brought home special recognition from the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) state qualifier sponsored by L.E.D. (Logical Engineering Design) of Marietta, Saturday, December 7. The event was held at Southern Polytechnic State University. The largest qualifier held in Georgia so far, there were 23 teams competing. FIRST® Tech Challenge is a robotics competition for high school students based on a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete as alliances against other teams.
The CyberStingers Gold team brought home the “Finalist Alliance” trophy after competing in final rounds. Ranked 6th after the qualifying rounds, the Gold team was selected by the top seed, Darbots of Rome, to compete for the champion’s trophy. The alliance easily won the semifinal rounds, but fell to the Silver Titans from Roswell in final rounds.
The CyberStingers Blue team finished 9th after the qualifying rounds and was a finalist for the Connect Award. This award is given to the team that most connects with their local and engineering community. The team exhibited gracious professional at all times during the competition and worked hard to connect with the community through field trips and working as mentors for Junior FIRST LEGO League (JrFLL) teams.
The CyberStingers Green team, a rookie team, finished 10th after the qualifying rounds and was a finalist for the Motivate Award. The Motivate Award celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition through team building, team spirit and exhibited enthusiasm.
Coach Laura Kornegay was very pleased with the tournament results. “We weren’t really sure what to expect from our first competition. For all three teams, including our rookie team, to place in the top 10 out of 23 at our first competition is great. I am very proud of the students and thankful for the support they receive.” The teams are also coached by Brian Bellamy. Patrick Harden, a mechanical engineer at Evoqua, serves as a mentor for all three teams.
FTC is one of the FIRST® family programs. FIRST®is a non-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). FTC is one of three robotics programs sponsored by Thomas County Schools. The school system sponsors 3 Junior FIRST LEGO League teams for students in second and third grades, 4 FIRST LEGO League teams for students in fourth-eighth grades and 3 FIRST Tech Challenge teams for high school students.