Carson High robotics team wraps up successful season

Representing Carson City at FIRST World Championships in Houston, Tex., Carson High School's FIRST robotics team, Team Captain, competed against 36 other countries.

Representing Carson City at FIRST World Championships in Houston, Tex., Carson High School's FIRST robotics team, Team Captain, competed against 36 other countries.

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It all started with a practice meet at the home of a Carson High School student, and it ended at the Minute Maid Park in Houston with fierce competition against robots.

The team of CHS students is well-known as Team Captain and has worked its way up from a local league play in Northern Nevada.

Over the course of eight months, the team succeeded at the Nevada State FTC Championship in Las Vegas, the FTC West Super Regional in Tacoma, Wash., and recently the FTC World Championship in Houston.

The team finished with a 4-4-1 record in the robot game against 127 of the best FTC teams in the world.

“I can’t believe our team from Carson City made it as far as we did,” said Allan Huntington, captain of Team Captain. “Thank you to all who made it possible for me and my team to see and do everything we did.”

The team participates in For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), consisting of four robotics programs meant to cultivate interest in science and technology, as well as increase awareness about STEM-related careers. FIRST has more than 52,000 teams participating worldwide.

FIRST leagues go through grades K-12, with students starting off in LEGO leagues to make their way up to tech and robotic challenges by seventh grade.

While the focus is often on robotic battles, FIRST’s programs are about much more than play. FIRST enforces skills such as public speaking, professionalism, and teamwork under pressure.

Beyond building and programming a robot, FTC requires teams to make a business plan for the season, manage its finances, document its engineering process, engage the community through outreach and serve the community through volunteerism.

As for Team Captain, they completed more than 73 hours of outreach and volunteering, totaling more than 418 individual hours.

Some of the takeaways of participating in this program is representing Carson City at World Festival, competing with at least 35 countries.

“I really enjoyed meeting kids from all over the world,” said team member Rylan Fancher. “The experience also conveyed a deeper meaning about the world we live in.”

“Watching teams from around the world along with the best teams in the United States respectfully compete with one another is something I will never forget,” said parent Dan Bowler. “It gave me great optimism.”

The rewards aren’t just the success in competitions or the skills gained; the team met with the Kiwanis Club on Thursday and will be attending the CCSD school board meeting on May 9, as well as competing in the Optimist Robotics Invitational on May 20.

This summer, the team plans to be at the Reno Mini Maker Faire and conduct a robotics camp.

The season has inspired continued involvement, even among team members who are graduating.

“I am more than grateful to have been with FIRST for the past handful of years,” said CHS Senior Nicholas Bowler. “I will continue to inspire the future members as a mentor for FTC and FRC teams.”

Team Captain includes captain Allan Huntington, vice-captain Henry Sturm, Nicholas Bowler, Zac Frewert, Stuart McElhany, Rylan Fancher, Luke Bowler, Nanami Duncan, and Casanova Segura. The coaches are Scot Duncan and Michelle Bowler.


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