Burlingame hosts annual FTC qualifier for robotics


Lizzy Wan

Junior Maddie Behr and senior Zubin Bhaumik emcee at the FTC qualifier hosted by Burlingame on Sunday, Nov. 21.

Lizzy Wan, Diversity Coordinator

On Nov. 21, Burlingame hosted the annual FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) qualifier. Burlingame’s robotics team spent the weekend setting up and running the event, meaning they were unable to participate.

Junior Jason Zhai is an FTC co-captain for the Iron Panthers this year. He was the emcee for the event and introduced team selections, awards and made announcements for the competition. 

“Hosting is a lot more preparation because I had to come the day before —I had to set the field and the pit tables as well. So as I’d say, it’s a bit more stressful,” Zhai said. 

Despite technical difficulties with microphones and scoring, the Iron Panthers were able to work through it and get the game running again.

“Started off a bit rough, but I think we’re doing fine now,” Zhai said.

Junior Isaac Ruben is a technical lead for the FRC team this year and also spent his weekend volunteering with the team. This was not his first time hosting a robotics competition at Burlingame, as he helped out his freshman year as well.

“I’m more involved this year, a lot more aware of what’s going on. Also, my parents were both judging, so that’s cool,” Ruben said. 

Putting on such a large event requires a lot of volunteers, and junior Sophie Noureddine, a second-year robotics student, said she spent over 12 hours on Sunday helping out with the event. This was her first robotics event to ever attend.

“Volunteering at the event made me feel more connected to the robotics community,” Noureddine said.