EEF5 invited to state championships

On January 14th, Elkhart Community Schools’ FTC (First Tech Challenge) Robotics team: EFF5 competed against 27 other teams in the Northwest Indiana Qualifying Tournament.

The team qualified for the State Championships, to be held on February 24th. EFF 5 has been invited to State Competition three out of our four years as an FTC team. In the three years the NERDS were an FTC team (formally FLL), they were invited to the State Competition three times.This will be the team’s first year as a merged team, and the first time qualifying for State. Tracy Korn explained, “It is tough to get an Invitation to State competition. It is more than just a score on the robotics field.”  To qualify, teams need to have “a good engineering notebook that has documented their design, a business plan, and have participated in community outreach, in order to be considered.”

“The [qualifying] competition gave us opportunities to learn from other teams and get ideas for improving our own robot,” said teammate Jayson Margush.

“It’s exciting to go to State because you see the best of the best there and you get inspired to keep improving,” said teammate Michael Korn.

There are 72 total Indiana FTC Teams. Teams from other states can also compete in Indiana and earn a spot in the Indiana State competition.There are 32 teams that will be invited to compete at the State Competition, which takes place annually in February. From the State Championship on February 24th, five Teams will advance to North Super Regional in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on March 15-17.  From the North Super Regional teams advance to World Championship in Detroit on April 25- 28.

Along with the opportunity to go to state, the robotics team won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award for “elegant design,” “ingenuity,” and “out of the box thinking” in robot design solutions. The Rockwell Collins Innovate award is given to one team per State Qualifying Competition and then also at the State Competition. In Indiana, that equates to seven awards per year.

This years FTC (First Tech Challenge) Robotics team: EFF5 consists of Daniel Sailor (senior) – Lead Programmer, Jayson Margush (Junior) – Lead Builder, Michael Korn (Sophomore), Evan Sailor (Sophomore).

Tracy explained that every team member is important to overall learning and success,  “it takes everyone to get ready for a competition. We are a team that believes everyone should participate in most tasks including knowing how to do 3D design.”  Tracy and Theresa Sailor are Co-Coaches for the team. Their role is to provide guidance and supervision, as coaches, they are facilitators who ask questions that will lead the team members to organically discovering the answers. Coaches observe and question, team members do all the planning, designing, building, and documentation. Team members also choose which events that would like to participate in regarding competitions and outreach.

You can follow along with the team at: