Parker Again Successfully Hosts In-Person Robotics Championship

By Science Department Co-Chair George Austin
This Saturday, Parker once again hosted the FTC Robotics Chicago League Championship. Our two US FTC robotics teams put on a thrilling performance both on and off the field, finishing the qualification rounds in 2nd and 3rd place out of 15 teams competing. In the alliance selection process for the championship rounds, the top four teams select partners to form alliances to face off against each other. The Parker rookie team, #9410, Frank’s Garage, declined the invite to join Latin, which had finished in 1st place at the end of all the qualification matches. Instead, Frank’s Garage chose to align with the Parker veteran team, #3507, Robotheosis.

In the semifinal round, the Parker alliance beat the alliance made up of the two teams from Whitney Young and moved into the finals against the Latin and Lincoln Park HS alliance. Latin’s alliance won the first of the best-of-three matches, but the Parker team fought back and won the second game to force the tie-breaking third match. The match came down to the wire, with the Latin alliance eking out the victory with a final score of 186 to 181.

At the awards ceremony, Robotheosis won the Design Award presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements that are both functional and aesthetic into their solutions. Frank’s Garage won the Control Award, which celebrates a team that uses sensors and software to increase the robot’s functionality in the field. The award-winning team demonstrates innovative thinking to solve game challenges, such as autonomous operation, improvement of mechanical systems with intelligent control or the use of sensors to achieve better results. Photos and videos of the event can be found in this album. The full team members are:

3507 Robotheosis: Jacob Boxerman, Brian Campoverde, Kate Chavez, Ethan Farkas, Finn Hall, Jack Kahan, Ryan Kershner, Timo JW Kiep, Grant Koh, Leena Mehta, Star Rothkopf, Hudson Taylor and Warner Vance
9410 Frank’s Garage: Jack Adee, Victoria Batts, Alexander Chaouki, Lincoln Hamid, Zarin Mehta, Shade Rothkopf, Judah Solomon and Elias Terman

The teams were led by computer science teacher Brianna Ifft and Devyn Keeney with help from me and my fellow science teacher Xiao Zhang, along with Mike Johnson, parent of a Parker robotics alum. They devoted countless hours and many late nights to help prep the two teams to compete at such a high level.

We would also like to thank everyone at Parker who helped make the event happen, including numerous parents/guardians, faculty/staff and students who volunteered to set up and work at the event; Rick Dusing and Robert Farmer and all the security and maintenance staff; Tom Moster and Pete Evans and everyone from the Tech Department; Chef Zac and everyone from Quest; Jan Zoufal and the PE Department for changing their schedules to accommodate the early set-up required on Friday; members of the Languages and Cultural Studies Department who allowed us to use their rooms; Operations and Substitute Coordinator Ellen Sandquist for coordinating all the spaces we needed; Bob Haugh and Karin Nangreave and everyone in the Business Office who worked out logistics for us; Brent Caburnay and James Pomeroy and everyone from the Development Office who helped us connect with individuals and companies; Nurse Anne and the Medical Committee for offering guidance to make sure we were all safe; and Dan Frank, Priyanka Rupani, Chris Arnold and Vahn Phayprasert for all their support.

On the horizon:
The ROV (underwater robotics) team, led by science teacher Elizabeth Druger and lab technician JP Navin with the help of Brianna Ifft and Xiao Zhang, have just kicked into high gear to prepare for their first competition of the season on May 7. Also, we hope to host the Chicago Robotics Invitational at Parker again this summer.

Go Parker Robotics!

Click here for photos.
Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.