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Girard and Warren robotics teams advance in competition

FIRST Robotics teams from Girard and Warren G. Harding High School kicked off their season over the weekend.

Warren’s Team E.L.I.T.E. 48 and the Girard RoboCats Team 379 competed at the Midwest Regional in Chicago, which had 46 teams from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and as far away as Ankara, Turkey.

Frank Bosak, coach for Warren Harding’s team, said Team E.L.I.T.E. (Encouraging Learning In Technology and Engineering) went five wins and six losses in qualification rounds, seeding 24th, while the RoboCats went seven wins and four losses, seeding 13th.

Bosak said during alliance selection, the RoboCats became the eighth alliance captain and selected Team E.L.I.T.E. and Team 2013, the Cybergnomes, from Ontario, Canada. During the double elimination rounds, the RoboCats alliance notched three wins and two losses, and finished the event ranked third.

Both the RoboCats and Team E.L.I.T.E. will return home to continue working on their robots and meet again at the Buckeye Regional March 30 to April 1, and the Pittsburgh Regional, April 6 to 8.

Bosak said if either team qualifies during those events, they will advance to the FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas, April 19 to 22. Harding is marking its 26th year of competing.

Bosak said the teams compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, which challenges high school students from around the world to build a new robot each year to compete in a new challenge. Teams are given roughly six weeks to design, prototype, build, program, and test their robots before competing at events.

Robotics teams from Austintown, Canfield, Champion and other area schools are preparing to compete at upcoming regionals.

The competition, called “Charged Up,” has alliances of three teams with robots gathering cones and cubes on the playing field. Points are scored by gathering these items and placing them in grids within a designated time period.

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