Half Hollow Hills FTC Robotics Teams Qualify For Regional Competition
Chip Parker


Two of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics teams from Half Hollow Hills Central School District have advanced to the regional competition, after winning awards at the remote School-Business Partnerships of Long Island (SBPLI) Long Island Qualifier #1 competition. The remote qualifying competition, which was held from March 8 to March 13 with robotics programs from across Long Island, required teams to submit engineering portfolios and demonstrate their robot competing in the challenge.


The Rise team from Half Hollow Hills qualified for the regional competition by being the second highest scoring team in the qualifier, and the Wise team qualified by winning the Inspire Award. Teams were scored by two sets of judges on their engineering portfolios, which included summary information about the robot design, information about the team and a team plan. The Inspire award recognizes teams that best embody the “challenge” of the FTC program, judged as being a role model for other FTC teams and a top contender in all other judging categories.


“This year has made these kids really focus inward and embrace each other to succeed in a common goal. The protocols have made the process a bit more difficult but nothing could stop these teams from succeeding. They are fantastic role models and I am so proud of the work they have put in this season,” said Mitchel Troise, the team advisor. “I am so happy to see them be honored for their efforts and hard work!”


The Half Hollow Hills Rise Team is made up of sophomores and seniors, and impressed the judges using extensive design matrices and elaborate CAD parts to rise to the top in all aspects of robot design. The Wise team from Half Hollow Hills is composed of young women seeking to help launch girls into STEM careers, and the judges felt their engineering portfolio thoroughly captured their CAD design and evolving phases of their robot development through the season. 


Team Vega, another FTC robotics team from Half Hollow Hills, was also recognized at the qualifier with the Think Award. This award is given to the team that best reflects the journey they took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season, by removing engineering obstacles through creative thinking.


This year’s competition, the Ultimate Goal Challenge, tasks teams with creating a robot that can launch at targets. The competition includes a portion where the robot is controlled and driven directly by the team and another portion where the robot must be coded to operate autonomously.


FTC students learn to think like engineers, with teams designing, building and coding robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology, and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming.


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