Venice Hosts Robotics Competition


Andrea Lo

FIRST-Tech Challenge robotics competition at Venice High Jan. 2015

Andrea Lo, Assistant News Editor

The Venice Robotics team hosted a Los Angeles FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier for the first time here at Venice High School on Jan. 24.

The West Gym was used as the venue for the competition, and Venice did not compete. Instead, Venice Robotics members and students volunteered at the event. In total, 28 robotics teams, mostly from schools and neighborhood groups, participated in the event.

The qualifier is one of the few in Southern California, the previous one being at West Valley High School in Hemet. In total, eight qualifiers were held in Southern California. At the Hemet qualifier on Jan, 19, the Venice Robotics team advanced to regional championships and won a PTC (Parametric Technology Corporation) Design Award for their robot.

In Venice’s competition, there were 35 matches total. In each match, four teams formed two alliances. Each match’s game involved competitors using their robots to collect as many plastic balls as possible in the field and placing them in goals within a certain amount of time.

In this event, six teams were selected to advance to the championships: “Marlbots” of  Marlborough High school, “RED” of Monrovia High School, “The Cooler Pistachios” of Simi Valley High School, “Thavma” of Monrovia High School, “Lockdown” which is a neighborhood group, and “Metal of Mass Construction” of diamond Ranch High School.

The LA Regional Championship will be held on Feb. 14 at Monrovia High School. Venice will compete in this event.

“It’s a challenge [to host],” said Catherine Johnson, a robotics parent, “but impressive because many people came to volunteer. Many people showed up to volunteer. It’s not just students and parents. Local robotics teams offered to help.”

It’s definitely an honor,” said Njeri Gachoka, programmer of the Venice Robotics team. “I didn’t think we could run it. There weren’t many volunteers and it was disorganized. I’m glad it’s working out,” she said during the event.

Other members of the Venice team include Ian Johnson, Cole Ten, Miranda Rector, and Dorian Letellier-Guerin.

The Robotics Club meets on Thursday after school in Shop 1B.