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Buc’n’Gears head to world championship

Krystle Wagner • Apr 20, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Grand Haven High School’s Buc’n’Gears team is heading to the world championship.

The school’s F.I.R.S.T. Robotics team qualified for the next level of competition after participating in the state championship, which took place April 11-14 at Saginaw Valley State University. The team also won the Pit Safety Award. Grand Haven’s Team 3546 was among 161 teams that competed on four fields at the state level. 

The Bucs competed with teams from across the state on the Dow Field. Head coach Chuck Priese said they played in 12 qualification matches and seeded in 17th position. The team was part of the seventh alliance and played three matches in the finals before being eliminated.

“Our robot performed like it was designed to and things ran well,” Priese said. “The competition is pretty stiff at the state championship.”

The 2018 F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics game is modeled after a 1980s arcade game. Part of the “Power Up” game requires robots to move “power cubes” onto a balance, and teams have to make it tip in their favor.

Priese said they had a lot of discussion about the strategy for each match, and it can be challenging coming up with the best strategy. The team reviews scouting data they collect during the competition, and then decide how to play.

The world championship’s East event is April 25-28 at Cobo Center in Detroit. About 400 teams from around the world will compete on six fields.

The world championship will be live-streamed at www.firstinmichigan.org. Information about the matches will also be posted on the Blue Alliance website at www.thebluealliance.com

The team will also work to post information on its Twitter account, Buc’N’Gears@frcTeam3546.

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