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BHS Robotics Teams Win Awards, Compete at States

BHS Robotics Teams Win Awards, Compete at States

Bloomfield Hills Schools Robotics Teams once again demonstrated continued success in reaching the highest levels of competition in the State of Michigan. Students programmed and built functioning robots, completed community service, and promoted STEM and robotics during their fall season.

FTC - Middle School Division

Two FIRST Tech Challenge teams from Bloomfield Hills Schools competed at the recent State Championship at Macomb Community College in Warren. Both the Golden Gears from BHMS and the Robo Rangers from East Hills qualified during the regular season competitions. 

The Golden Gears went 3-3 in match play and did not advance to the finals round, but won a prestigious 2nd Place Connect Award. According to FIRST, “This judged award is given to the team that most connects with their local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) community and recognizes that engaging their local STEM community plays an essential part in their success.” Members of the Golden Gears are Luca Alli (grade 8), Brock Atto (grade 8), Griffin Gleich (grade 8), Kai Hillman (grade 7), Alex Jacobs (grade 6), Knox Papcsik (grade 7), Rishiv Ramesh (grade 8), Ayan Sehgal (grade 8), and Austen Wack (grade 6). The team is coached by volunteers Lesley Alli and Monika Jacobs. 

The Robo Rangers handily won five of six qualifying matches and advanced to the playoff round as captains of Alliance Team 3. After dominating both semi-final matches, the team’s alliance fell in the finals round to the eventual event champions. Members of the RoboRangers are Skyler Anthony (grade 7), Henry Cobb (grade 8), Brian Madison (grade 6),  Alan Milch (grade 8), Stevie Moore (grade 7), Mihir Shah (grade 7), Gerry Socha (grade 7), Cyrus Watson (grade 7), and Ethan Wells (grade 6). The team is coached by volunteers Brian and Mihaela Cobb.

In addition, the Detroit Durfee Bulldogs team, which is coached by the BHHS Bionic Black Hawks Robotics team, also made it to the State Championship event and finished 12th overall. 

FLL - Upper Elementary Division

Two BHS First Lego League teams also went to the state finals. Succeeding at FIRST Lego League Challenge takes more than just building a great robot. There are three areas a team is scored in: Core Values, Innovation Project, and the Robot Game. The BHMS Devilish Decoders and the BHMS Disco Vectors From Space each scored well enough in qualifying rounds to attend the FLL Michigan State Championship II in Mason, MI.

Team 39483 Disco Vectors From Space worked for several months with this season's theme of 'Superpowered' (energy) to qualify for States. The team was most proud of their Innovation Project where they identified a lack of curbside battery recycling in Bloomfield Hills. They created a prototype recycling kiosk and cell phone app to offer incentives for the recycler: the more batteries recycled, the more points earned for prizes and games. They tested their ideas at BHMS with a smaller version of the kiosk and a battery recycling prize drawing. They also collected 165 pounds of batteries to recycle. The team includes Teo Bargren (grade 6), Roger Carroll (grade 6), Ian Devine (grade 6), Daniel Pershyn-Tikh, Larissa Salle (grade 6), Larken Vogel (grade 6) and Sully Vogel (grade 5).  The team is coached by volunteers Linda Chan and Noelle Devine. 

The Devilish Decoders won the 1st place Core Values Award at the FLL Qualifier. The team is made up of all BHMS 5th graders and includes Isabella Ersan, Tabitha Helmer, Grace Janicki, Liyana Walji, Margaret Wong, and Kaylee Zhu. The team is coached by volunteers Eleanor Chan and Marc Janicki. Although the team didn’t not receive a bid to Worlds they improved in the areas of Core Values, Robot Game, and Innovation Project. The Decoders also earned 70 more points in their robot game at States to beat their personal best and come in 12th of 48 teams with a score of 265. Most of all, the Decoders had a great experience, and all of them are inspired to continue on in Robotics FTC next year.