The Kenneth White Jr. High MetalHawks FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team 13521 will be representing Mission CISD and the Rio Grande Valley at the FTC World Championship on April 18-21, in Houston, TX. The MetalHawks team will be the first FTC team from the Rio Grande Valley to ever compete in the FTC World Championships. MetalHawks will be competing amongst teams from the United States and 23 other countries.

 

The MetalHawks earned their spot after traveling to Athens, GA on March 7th and participating in the FTC South Super-Regional Championship Tournament. There, the MetalHawks competed amongst 35 other teams from 14 other states in the southeastern United States within their division. The MetalHawks were one of three middle schools participating in this tournament; however, regardless of the age difference they performed extremely well ending the tournament ranked 17th in their division.

 

As part of the FTC competition, students work in teams to design, build, program and operate a robot that can complete a given task in less than 2 1/2 minutes. The teams match off in an alliance format, to see which robots can better complete the objectives and earn the most points for its alliance. In addition to completely building a robot from metal parts and programming the robot to respond to commands accordingly, the teams must also document their journey as they worked through the engineering and building process. This journey must be documented well in the team’s Engineering Notebook with the inclusion of detailed descriptions of the rationales for their robot design and game strategy, as well as an evident reflection of their designs, successes, and any opportunities for improvement. This process is then evaluated through a portion of the competition in which students present their engineering notebook in front of a panel of judges. This is the first year the MetalHawks participate in the FTC Competitions.

 

The students representing KWJH and Mission CISD at the World Championships are Andy Rodriguez, Eric Calderon, Hugo Mireles, Gabriel Cordova, Jorge Salinas, Ismael Alvarado, Steven Ramirez, Miguel Velazquez, Carlos Wong, Jordan Hernandez, Danilee Alaniz, Maritza Moreno, Alma Gomez, Jaclyn Ornelas, and Alexya Garza. The MetalHawks advancing team is coached by Mr. J. Sanchez, Ms. S. Silva, and Mr. Adrian Chapa.