Members of the Blazin Bots robotics team at Metro Charter Academy have had an impressive school year so far. They participated in numerous competitions, wrapping up the fall season with a trip to the state championship. With excitement in her voice, one of the team’s coaches, Heather Smith-Elliott, shared, "That was a first for us. Absolutely awesome. I've been working with the team since 2016, and we've been to quite a few tournaments, but we finally made it."
Smith-Elliot described the details of the team’s journey, including how the competitions work.
“The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competitions have two important parts: robot performance and team presentations,” she explained.
She emphasized how the team consistently impressed judges, earning trophies for their ability to articulate their ideas and work together.
“In a recent tournament, we placed fifth out of 24 teams. We earned the Motivate Award and got an invitation to the state championship," she shared.
The team was excited as they headed to Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan, to compete against some of the best teams in the state, but it was also a day filled with challenges - technical glitches, competition pressure, and even sensory overload.
"There's a sea of people, the music's playing, signals are sounding, and there's bells and whistles. It's a lot for some of our kids," she admitted.
But the Blazin Bots roared through these challenges with problem-solving, resilience, and teamwork.
Smith-Elliott revealed they placed 33rd out of 36 teams in their division during the state competition. They wished they had placed higher but were proud that they made it there.
“It was very eye-opening for our kids and for their parents to see what the next level looks like. We just have to keep working and growing our skills,” she stated.
The scholars may not have brought home a trophy this time, but they gained important life skills.
"They learned to work together, definitely problem-solving, perseverance – great Moral Focus virtues," she noted.
After a busy fall schedule, the team is taking a short break to reflect and recharge but may return in time for a spring tournament.
Congratulations to the Blazin Bots on an amazing fall season! Keep up the great work!
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About Metro Charter Academy:
Metro Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Romulus, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.
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