Team STEAM, the Lawrence area schools robotics club, qualified seventh out of 28 teams but was eliminated in the quarterfinals Saturday at the Heartland Regional competition at Olathe South High School.
More than 30 students representing both Lawrence and Free State high schools participated in the event, which pits student-fabricated, remote-controlled robots against each other performing a variety of tasks during timed rounds.
This weekend‘s event brought teams from across the Midwest to test whose machine could earn the most points picking up and shooting 10-inch tennis balls into a basket (known as delivering cargo to the hub), and then navigating their robots to hang from and move through a series of ascending horizontal bars.
Although Team STEAM was eliminated from competition in the quarterfinals, they did earn an Innovation Control Award, which recognizes a system or application of components – electrical, mechanical or software – to provide unique machine functions.
Team STEAM marketing mentor Grace Young was also named a finalist for the Woodie Flowers Award, which celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. Young participated in robotics as a high school student in Michigan, and is now a graduate student in computer science at the University of Kansas.
Established in 2014, Team STEAM competes through FIRST, a nonprofit organization that advances STEM education through skill-building competitions. Around the world, almost 98,000 students comprising more than 3,900 individual teams competed at FIRST events in 2020.
Note: This article was updated to reflect a name change.