Heartland Regional FIRST Robotics Competition attracts international competition

Two local high school robotics teams earned slots at the international FIRST Championships, April 17-20 in Houston, during the Heartland Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition on March 15-16 at Olathe South High School. This year’s competition featured 36 teams, including four from China and one from Mexico.

Attended by fans, families, educators and industry leaders, the competition also awarded several teams with honors for design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship and partnerships between schools, businesses and communities.

With the hope of winning one of the several coveted awards, high school students worked with professional mentors to design and build a robot over a six-week period using a kit of parts and a standard set of rules.

The local advancing teams include Team 5126-The Electromagnetic Panthers of Park Hill South High School, which was part of the Regional Winning Alliance, and Team 1730-Team Driven from Lee’s Summit High School, which advanced via a wild card slot.


Regional Chairman’s Award** (highest award of the competition): Team LASER 3284, Camdenton High School, Camdenton, Mo.

Engineering Inspiration Award** (second highest award of competition) Team 2220 Blue Twilight, Eagan Senior High, Eagan, Minn.

Regional Winning Alliance:

  • Team 935-RaileRobotics, Newton Senior High, Newton, Kan.
  • Team 6907-The G.O.A.T., Fudan University High School, Shanghai, China
  • Team 5126-Electromagnetic Panthers, Park Hill South High, Riverside, Mo.

Regional Finalist Alliance:

  • Team 1730-Team Driven, Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
  • Team 4522-Team SCREAM, Smith-Cotton High School, Sedalia, Mo.
  • Team 2560-RoboDog, Grandview Senior High School, Grandview, Mo.

Team Spirit Award: Team 4786, Nicolet FEAR, Milwaukee, Wis.

Industrial Design Award: Team 6941-IronPulse Robotics, Shanghai, China

Gracious Professionalism Award: Team 1108-Panther Robotics, Paola, Kan.

Entrepreneurship Award: Team 1730-Team Driven, Lee’s Summit High School, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Quality Award: Team 4522-Team SCREAM, Smith-Cotton High School, Sedalia, Mo.

Creativity Award: Team 6359-TechKnow Difficulties, Aurora High School, Aurora, Neb.

Excellence in Engineering Award: Team 1986-Team Titanium, Lee’s Summit West High School, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Highest Rookie Seed Award: Team 7785-Mechanical Mustangs, Shenandoah High School, Shenandoah, Iowa

Imagery Award: Team 3465-The Omega Factor, Mustang High School, Mustang, Okla.

Safety Award: Team 2220-Blue Twilight, Eagan Senior High, Eagan, Minn.

Innovation in Control Award: Team 5801-CTC Inspire, Career & Technical Center at Ft. Osage, Independence, Mo.

Judges’ Award: Team 4400-CERBOTICS, Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico

FIRST Dean’s List Finalists include Josh Rehwaldt from Team 1730 and Maya Irvine from Team 3284.

Also receiving recognition were Woodie Flowers award winner Team 2220 Blue Twilight and Volunteer of the Year Jeff Ousley.

See more event photos by Charles Maples here.