The Bolles middle school robotics teams excelled during the FIRST robotics qualifying tournament, held January 9 at St. Mark’s Episcopal School. Both teams finished in the top 5 and qualified for the regional tournament, which the University of North Florida will host on January 16.
The qualifying competition challenged teams in four areas: robotic missions, robotic design, project research and teamwork. Both teams have been practicing since September – meeting before school and during lunch, as well as making time for preparation and collaboration during activities period, after school, weekends and during winter break.
“I am ecstatic for them,” said Coach Mark Meyers. “Their dedication to their robot and research project shows the true spirit of a Bolles student.”
In addition to building and programming a robot to complete missions, the teams completed a research project based on this year’s theme: Trash Trek. They researched a current environmental issue, created a realistic solution, and presented it to judges at the tournament.
Head of School Dave Farace attended the tournament and gave his support to the teams, which include boys and girls in Grades 6-8. Many of the students on the Grade 8 team, called The B Team, have been participating in robotics camps and activities for years. Charlie Davis ’20 has been building and programming robots since the Grade 3. The Grade 6-7 team, called the Terabyte Terrors, is a new team which has bonded well and has learned quickly how to excel in robotics.
“We work really well together, especially during the teamwork and core values sessions,” said Sophia Landy ’22.
Bolles offers robotics programs at the lower, middle and upper schools as a part of the academic day and after-school programs.