The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

The online student news source of Lovejoy High School

The Red Ledger

Robotics powers up to win state

Courtesy of Lovejoy Robotics
1082R LHS robotics team won Lovejoy’s first robotics state championship in school history.

The 1082R LHS robotics team, which includes Robert Schnurr, Hannah Schnurr, Kyle Holiman, Christian Cazares, Emily Dillon, Liam Widdington, Grant Rasmussen, Apia Okorafor, and Mary Sheridan, won the state UIL competition on Feb. 6. This is the first time a Lovejoy team has won tournament championships at the State level. The team continues to work for its goals, as it has advanced to the VEX Worlds Championship on April 25-17 in Dallas.

Junior Hannah Schnurr, one of the team members, has been in robotics since middle school. She works as the team’s testing coordinator, using the project management website and filling out testing logs.

“When you get to a tournament, they create a randomly generated eight-match schedule for each team,” Schnurr said. “You run through the schedule, and at the end of it, you are placed into a ranking based on how well you did, and through that ranking, you then select an Alliance partner, going from first place down to last place. In this case, our team 1082R was the first place in qualifications, so we could pick a partner and choose a team from the AI and Robotics Academy. We then went into an elimination round where whoever wins the bracket wins the tournament.”

A team must make it to the finals match to qualify for the Texas UIL State competition. LHS had multiple teams that qualified; however, each school is only allowed to send two teams to UIL. Emily Dillon competes as the team’s notebooker and project manager.

“To be a robotics team member means to be hardworking and determined,” Dillon said. “Every aspect of the team requires many hours to be put in if you want to be successful. For example, our programmers have spent about 2,000 hours researching and coding our bot, our builders have spent about 600 hours designing and constructing the testing bot, our driver has spent about 400 hours practicing his driving skills, and our notebookers have spent about 600 hours documenting our design process throughout the year. If you want to be on a successful team, you have to be willing to commit your time to optimizing the different aspects, and you must be willing to collaborate with the other team members at all times.

The team is currently preparing for the World’s Championship in Dallas, where it will compete against teams from across the world in late April.

“We have set a ton of records this year,” Schnurr said. “We have triple crowned twice, which
The three biggest awards are skills, excellence, and tournament champions, so you get all three at a competition for the triple crown. It’s really nice to see that our hard work paid off. Our team has a record amount of awards, and we are tied with my freshman team, an old team from 2 years ago, for the number of excellence awards.”The team’s goal is to “dome” at Worlds. The competition will have around 800 teams that will be separated into 8-10 divisions. Once a team wins a match, they advance to the dome, where the top 10 winners compete in a bracket. The winner of that wins the world championship.

“Robotics is almost like a simulation of working in industry because you are in a small team with 6-10 people with different roles that need to work together to make a functioning group,” Schnurr said. A lot of robotics is learning how to navigate, plan, and communicate with one another. So it’s a really good skill to have because it will help you regardless of if you are going into engineering. On top of that, it teaches you about building and programming. Robotics is for everyone, and you don’t have to be good at engineering to be in robotics so everyone can do it.”

The team continues to work in and outside of school to improve their robot and overall team dynamics. To win state, the team had to win not only the Tournament Champion award but also the Skills Champion award, meaning they won every bracket and had the highest score.

“Winning UIL State was a testament to the hard work our team has done over the course of this season. Our robot design has proved to be very effective and versatile,” Sheridan said. “We’re very happy to see our hard work pay off. I think our team works so well together because, aside from our respective areas of expertise, we’re good friends as well. Team dynamics definitely play an important role in performance. We have a bunch of knowledgeable and talented people on our team that I’m so lucky to work with. Being able to collaborate together on design challenges and having people who are dedicated to their respective roles have been integral to our success as a team.”

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Marisa Green
Marisa Green, Section Editor
Entering her third year writing for TRL, junior Marisa Green is excited to get back into the newsroom. Outside of TRL, Green spends most of her time in the art room, binge watching netflix, running or getting boba with friends. Green loves to read and is always open to hearing new book recommendations. She is a huge dog lover and loves to talk about her dogs, Lulu and Mozart, who take up 90% of her camera roll. Green can’t wait to see what her next year on TRL will have to offer.

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