OHS robotics team wins Engineering Inspiration Award, places 24th at world championship

TORC Team in Detroit after winning the Engineering Inspiration Award at the FIRST World Championship.
TORC Team in Detroit after winning the Engineering Inspiration Award at the FIRST World Championship.

By Megan Clapsaddle

T.O.R.C. Student Team Member

Oxford High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team, Team 2137, the Oxford RoboCats (TORC), competed at the FIRST World Championship in Detroit at COBO Hall this past weekend. At the event TORC was one of three teams to win the Engineering Inspiration Award and they placed 24th out of the 68 teams on their field.

The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates a team for their success in promoting STEM within their community and outreach.

“The award is a testament to all the amazing work the team puts in, beyond competing with a robot, to promote FIRST and STEM opportunities to other students as well as humanitarian efforts both at home and to other countries around the world,” said Ian Houston, TORC Chairman’s Mentor. TORC is one of six teams to receive this recognition out of 3,647 teams from 28 countries competing in 2018.

“I was surprised that we won the Engineering Inspiration Award, since we didn’t get interviewed for it like we did at states, but it did focus a lot on the STEM aspect of our Chairman’s presentation” said Arhely Mendoza, Mechanical Capitan and Chairman’s Presenter.

Chairman’s Captain and Presenter; Mackenzie Funke said, “Chairman’s is really fun and winning Engineering Inspiration was cool.”

This is the fourth time this season that TORC has been recognized for making an impact to both their local community and the world, while spreading the message of FIRST.

They had previously won the Engineering Inspiration Award at the FIRST in Michigan Belleville District Event. Additionally, they have won the Chairman’s Award, which recognizes a team that makes a sustained impact on their community and world, at both the FIRST in Michigan Waterford District Event and the FIRST Michigan Championship.

This is the first time that Michigan has hosted a FIRST World Championship and it brought more than 400 robotics teams from over 20 countries, with an estimated 40,000 people in attendance to Detroit. During the three-day event, there were competitions held at COBO Hall and Ford Field.

“Michigan has the most FIRST teams in the world so it makes sense to bring it here,” said TORC student Adam Bertich.

From the Engineering Inspiration Award, TORC received a $5,000 grant from NASA for next year’s registration fees and they are qualified to attend the 2019 FIRST® World Championship next year in Detroit.