Wolf. Corp Robotics Team places second in FIRST Tech Challenge

Wolf Corp. Robotics Team placed second overall at the Interleague For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge Saturday, Feb. 22 hosted at Monrovia High School.

During the competition, the team was judged on its technical robotics skills and its community engagement. Wolf Corp. programmed its robot to stack boxes for points. For its community involvement, the team presented their work demonstrating their robot to special needs children in Heart of Hope. They also spread awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) by participating in fairs such as the Los Angeles County Fair, the Orange County Fair and the Walnut Family Festival. 

“We’ve hosted a robot expo here in Walnut High School. We invited 17 other teams to come and do a public demonstration of their robots. It’s nice that they know you and appreciate you for what you’ve done,” freshman Chandrark Muddana said.

The team’s community service has also involved offering programming lessons at libraries in Walnut and Pasadena. Its multifaceted approach to robotics results in a practice schedule of Wednesdays from 2 to 6:30 p.m., Fridays from 2:45 to 6:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 3 or 8 p.m. on Saturday. As a result, Wolf Corp. advanced in the tournament as the fourth place  in 31 teams going into finals before winning second place. 

“During the matches, it was really tense because we wanted to win every match and place high,” captain sophomore Daniel Ji said. “This year, if you place really high, you get less awards. We were getting really [few] awards, so we hoped we placed near the top, and we were really excited.”

In addition to its overall second place, Wolf Corp. won the first place Design Award, adviser Amanda Lindemann won the Compass Award, an award to recognize outstanding advisers,  and sophomores Ji and Kawin Watkins were recognized as Dean’s List students. As Dean’s List semifinalists, Ji and Watkins were nominated by their team members and will be considered for finalists at Regionals. 

“It feels good but we don’t see ourselves as higher than other people just because they chose us,” Watkins said. “ [My favorite part was] bonding with the team during both practices and tournaments. We’re currently working on changing some parts of the robot that we weren’t satisfied with during the Interleague.”

Wolf Corp. will compete at the Regionals FIRST Tech Challenge Saturday, March 7 at Monrovia High School. 

By Nicole Chiang, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Lek Watkins