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Mason H.S. Robotics Wins Gracious Professionalism Trophy

roboticswebThe George Mason High School FIRST Robotics Team 1481 took home the FIRST Gracious Professional trophy and a silver medal at last weekend’s Washington, D.C. Regional Robotics competition held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The team’s robot ranked fourth out of 59 teams competing at the end of nine preliminary rounds, qualifying the local group for the finals.

 

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(Photo: Courtesy John Ballou)

The George Mason High School FIRST Robotics Team 1481 took home the FIRST Gracious Professional trophy and a silver medal at last weekend’s Washington, D.C. Regional Robotics competition held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The team’s robot ranked fourth out of 59 teams competing at the end of nine preliminary rounds, qualifying the local group for the finals.

Team members include eighth graders Linda Lay and Adam Martin; Freshmen Callum Bartlett, Fernando Angulo, Christopher Cooper; sophomores Andrew Emmons, Andrew Finein, Christina Park, Vlad Utchin, David Sheffler and Worachet Sakprayoonpong; juniors Kaloyan Stankov, Elizabeth Womack, Matthew Duntz, Charles DeLeo and Chris Wakeley; and seniors Parameswar Chembukave, Matthew Rollo, Johanna Ballou and William Perkins.

“This team worked extremely hard to earn their way into the playoff level of this tournament,” said Team Sponsor John Ballou, a fine and performing arts teacher at GMHS.

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in the two fields.

Ballou added that once in finals, the team picked a “great set of partners” as caption of the third-seed alliance, but missed winning the championship by a broken bicycle chain. GMHS Team 1481’s partners became the captain of the third seeded alliance with Chesterfield High School of Maryland and Lloyd C. Bird High Schoolof Chesterfield, Va.

Though the team lost the next two matches by just two points, they won the Finalist trophy at the high-stakes regional.

Most of all, Ballou feels the coveted “Gracious Professionalism” award speak’s volumes about his team’s abilities. Gracious Professionalism is one of FIRST’s two core values.

“That award is a very significant recognition of this fine team’s efforts,” said Ballou.

Team 1481 was chosen for the hours team members spent helping other teams complete their programming during the recent regional competition, and for sponsoring training sessions for the entire D.C. alliance last December.

The GMHS team will be competing again from March 18 – 20 against 63 other schools at the Virginia Regional competition held at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center in Richmond.

 

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