Members of Brush High School’s Hacksaw robotics team will move on to state competition in Columbus after winning the field competition in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge Northeastern Ohio Qualifier at Cuyahoga Community College Eastern Campus over the weekend.
Teams Hacksaw and Bonesaw competed against 23 teams from Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania,West Virginia and Ohio. After the preliminary rounds, Team Hacksaw/1001 was ranked 7th and Team Bonesaw/4316 was ranked 11th.
Students are judged on their robot design, fundraising and software design, as well as the robot’s performance in games against other robots. The teams that qualified will go on to state competition in February in the Cincinnati area, where they will compete for a shot at the world competition in April in St. Louis, Mo. Brush teams have participated in state competition since the club’s founding in 2002 and went on to world competition in 2003, 2007 and 2009.
Pat Checkel, a math instructor at Cuyahoga Community College-East, and her husband, David Fort, a software engineer at Rockwell Engineering, volunteer their time and fundraise for the club. They first became involved with the club when their two sons, Kevin, an engineer at National Instruments in Texas, and Brian, a biomedical engineering major at Case Western Reserve University, were Brush students. Checkel said they stayed on to continue teaching Brush students skills in engineering, programming and teamwork. Fort is proud that two Robotics Club alums are now part of ONOSYS, a startup web development company in Cleveland.
BHS junior Lance Reynolds said he joined the club in his freshmen year at the prodding of his mother, who was tired of his inability to reassemble her electronics after he took them apart out of curiosity. Jeff Bregar, also a junior, said the club gives him a reason to look forward to school.
“I can come here and build whatever I want,” Jeff said.
Advisor Joe Niederest added the program promotes science, technology and mathematics. The program has been supported through grants from Rockwell Automotive, S.M.A.R.T., NASA, Key Foundation and Legacy Village Fund, SEL Extracurricular Fund Committee, Interwire Trade and Exposition, J.N.S. Plastics and Lyndhurst Lumber.
The Brush Robotics program was founded in 2002 by two Brush High School teachers. At its first competition in 2003, the team won a rookie award and advanced to the championships in Texas. During the team’s first build season, its most sophisticated tool was a hacksaw, which is the name of one team each year.
For more information and complete results visit http://sites.google.com/site/homeofbrushrobotics/home/ftc-qualifying-tournament