March 9th—11th marked an unforgettable weekend for Team 135, Penn High School’s robotics team. As the host of the St. Joseph FRC District Event, 135 enjoyed the privilege of playing in Indiana’s first district event of the season. This year’s game, FIRST Power Up, required teams to construct bots equipped to place ‘power cubes’ on either ‘scales’ or a ‘switch’ located on the playing field. Forty teams from both Indiana and Michigan came to participate in the weekend’s events, totaling to a spectator count around 2,000 people! The audience marveled at the sight of opposing alliances (comprised of 3 teams each) vying for control of the switches and scale.
Penn’s very own 135 experienced a tough start to the competition, continually tweaking the different subsystems on the bot between matches. Expectations were heightened as 135 was selected as part of the third seed alliance bound for the quarterfinals; though the team did not progress beyond the second match of the semifinals.
Beyond the robot, Penn Robotics performed phenomenally in the Awards category. For the first time in Indiana state history, a team in Indiana won the coveted Chairman’s Award two years in a row on the District model. This victory guarantees 135 a place at the Indiana State FRC Event held April 13-14 in Kokomo next month. The team attributes this win to the dedicated work of its students, mentors, and coaches, who have all tirelessly dedicated the past 6-weeks to make this event possible.