Last weekend marked a thrilling chapter for Plymouth Robotics as they excelled in two competitions, showcasing dedication, talent, and unwavering spirit. The first competition, held in Chesterton, saw remarkable achievements unfold.
Plymouth High School, led by Head Coach Michael Wraight and Assistant Coach Daniel Kallenberg, and Lincoln Jr. High School, led by Head Coach Ashley Oliver participated in the Chesterton competition. Out of the eight Jr. High and High School teams, an impressive six advanced to round 16. Team 586B, featuring Dalton Freeman, Quintin Abarca, Naomi Ortiz Rodriguez, Austin Ward, and Jacob Faulstich, narrowly lost in the quarterfinals by only 1 point, displaying exceptional skill. Another standout, Team 587Y, comprised of Teal Fritz, Margot Rich, Miles Stoneburner, Lydia Thada, and Michael Wandland, received the Middle School Excellence Award, securing their spot in the State Championship.
Team 586E, with Tyler Martin, Jonah Rich, Chance Miller, Freddy Kallenberg, and Cora Hanes, achieved the highest skills score among 60 teams, earning them the Skills Award trophy and the title of tournament champion. Their outstanding performance qualified them for the State Championship, and they came remarkably close to setting a world record.

Head Coach Michael Wraight expressed pride in the team’s achievements, stating, “We cleaned house and swept the floor. It was a VERY good weekend. I’m a very proud coach. These kids did great things.”
Plymouth Robotics also excelled during Riverside Intermediate’s home competition, the first of three scheduled for the school year. The Rocket Fuel Robotics team led by Head Coach Laurie Wandland and Assistant Coach Jed Wandland, alongside Jefferson Jet Fuel led by Coach Michael Nyhuis, and Webster Robot Warriors led by Coach Sarah Cofer, showcased their prowess in the Full Volume game. With 33 teams from 8 schools, the day was filled with excitement, and Plymouth Robotics continued to make significant strides, leaving an enduring impact on the realms of robotics and STEM education.

These robotics teams demonstrated exceptional skills and determination, earning commendable rankings and scores. For Riverside Rocket Fuel, Team 53510D secured the 6th position, tying for 2nd place in the finals with an impressive average score of 50.83. Team 53510B claimed the 9th spot, tying for 6th in the finals with a notable average score of 45.83. Team 53510N secured the 11th position, finishing 8th in the finals with a score of 44.5 and receiving a Judge’s Award for outstanding performance. Team 53510G achieved the 14th rank, tying for 6th in the finals, and scoring 40 points. Additionally, Team 53510T earned the 16th spot, securing 5th place in the finals with an average score of 36.67. Teams 53510H and 53510V, though not ranked in the finals, showcased their dedication with scores of 33.17 and 32.33, respectively. Overall, each team demonstrated exemplary skills, contributing to the success and recognition of our robotics program.

This remarkable achievement is a testament to the dedication, innovation, and collaborative spirit of Plymouth Robotics. The impact of their success resonates not only within the robotics community but also in the broader landscape of STEM education, as PCSC pursues STEM certification. As they continue their journey, the Plymouth Robotics team remains a beacon of inspiration for aspiring young minds in the field.

The Webster Robot Warriors had 4 teams participate. This was their first-ever Robotics Competition. One team made it to the finals and tied for 6th place. While the other 3 missed making the finals, they all had fun, learned a lot, and are ready to keep building towards the next competition. Coach Sarah Cofer wants to thank all the students, parents, and sponsors (Beacon Credit Union, Black Cat Clothing, and Tana Houin) for their help in making the inaugural year for Webster Robotics so successful. “In true Webster Warrior fashion, you have shown how hard work brings big rewards,” she shared.

Jefferson Jet Fuel had 3 teams compete. All students on these teams are also brand new to robotics competitions. A few have siblings who have been or are involved. Saturday’s competition brought excitement for the kids in our program. 2 of our 3 teams missed out on the finals round by just a couple of points, with the B team placing 17th and the C team placing 18th. The A team placed 27th. “I am really proud of the performance of each team, especially being their first competition ever. Each team had its own frustrations, between parts that did not work as expected and needing to rebuild the entire bots after dropping them. Our Jets overcame the struggles and are looking forward to our next competition after the holidays,” shared coach Michael Nyhuis.