Iron Panthers qualify for U.S. West Super Regionals

 The FTC Team poses with their robot, "The Stacker in the Rye", at the Northern California Championship tournament.

The FTC Team poses with their robot, "The Stacker in the Rye", at the Northern California Championship tournament.

For the first time ever, the First Tech Challenge (FTC) division of the Burlingame Robotics team has qualified for the U.S. West Super Regionals.

Also known as Team 7316, the FTC team for the Iron Panthers advanced to Super Regionals, a group of competitions held in four different regions of the U.S. From Super Regionals, teams can advance to World Championships representing the U.S. against countries from around the world. Like the qualification process for Super Regionals, teams can qualify based on their placement and awards received.

The Iron Panthers originally did not place high enough to qualify for Super Regionals. However, the team won the third place Inspire Award at the Northern California Championship tournament, which guaranteed qualification for the Iron Panthers to represent Norcal and compete in Spokane, Washington.

The Inspire Award is given to teams who act as role models for other teams. Essentially, the award is given to teams that are well rounded, display good leadership, a well-constructed robot and professionalism.

“Norcal regionals have about 56 teams, and those teams come from 162 teams, and so, by making it to the Super Regionals in Spokane, Washington, I would say that we are ranked one of the best in Norcal,” said junior Connie Nong, the FTC lead.

At Super Regionals on March 8-11, the Burlingame Iron Panthers will represent NorCal along with nine other teams. This competition marks an important milestone for Burlingame robotics.

“It’s the first time in our robotics [team’s history] that a team has gone to a higher competition on merit,” Nong said.

Their qualification has followed this year’s trend for the Iron Panthers. The FTC team has already experienced major success. With two back-to-back tournaments wins, and their tying of the NorCal points record at one tournament, the team looks to maintain their current success.

“[Super Regionals is] a big step towards our future robotics team being more successful,” said freshman FTC member Hubert Chen.

Posted on March 6, 2018 .