Barrington HS robotics team advances to state tournament
Barrington High School students compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition at Highland Park High School.
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:05AM
BARRINGTON — Eighty Barrington High School students competed last month in FIRST Tech Challenge regional competitions held in Highland Park and Batavia.
The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a national competition sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit organization designed to inspire students to become science and technology leaders.
The 80 Barrington Students were divided into 10 teams, and they competed against 26 other teams from 20 different schools in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The competition was held Nov. 10 in Highland Park and Nov. 17 in Batavia.
This year’s competition was a game called “Ring It Up,” and is played on a 12-by-12 foot field. Two alliances — one ‘red’ and one ‘blue’ — composed of two teams each compete in matches consisting of a 30 second autonomous period followed by a two-minute driver controlled period. The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent’s alliance by placing plastic donuts onto a center rack up to three feet off the ground
Teams are challenged to complete tasks during the autonomous and driver controlled periods, and during the last 30 second “end game” teams can score additional points by being able to lift their partner’s robot more than an inch off of the mat.
Each Barrington team member has averaged more than 50 hours after school during the past two months designing, building, programming and testing their robots from scratch in preparation for the competition, which represents more than 4,000 hours of individual effort.
As a result, two of the 10 Barrington teams qualified for the state FTC competition, which will be held Saturday (Dec. 8) at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. The top teams from each state competition will then advance to the national tournament to be held in St. Louis in April.
This is the second year that the after-school robotics activity has been offered at Barrington High School, and is now the largest such program in Illinois. The team is funded by generous contributions from Barrington High School, corporate sponsors, and individuals. The Barrington High School Robotics Team is sponsored by BHS teacher Tom Bredemeier.