By: Noelle Regennitter
The muggy gymnasium is packed with family, friends, and students from numerous schools… everyone holding their breath and sitting at the edge of their seat. Suddenly a small group of nine students in matching dress attire shuffle onto the stage, their nerves barely containable as their heads consider every possible outcome that might occur. Finally, the student holding the team’s element of surprise places it on the gym floor. It’s a small metal robot about the size of a small dog, yet despite its size everyone is watching it to see what’ll happen next. This is how every robotics team feels at their competitions and especially at Super Qualifiers.
Lead by Mr. Martin and assistant superviser Ms. Ramaekers, Team 7110 is comprised of the students Katie Noll, Jordan Wood, Emma Walton, Mia Utsinger, Henry Cubs, Amanda Walker, Luke Kettlecamp, Emily Mortz, Aelwyn Dicky, and Zoey Carter and has for the first time in the history of Marion made it to Super Qualifiers. Which is a big deal.
Each year, robotics competitions in the FTC league revolve around winning a game that’s decided at the beginning of the season. Teams competing must design, code, and build a robot they think will be successful at winning the assigned game. This year’s game is called the ‘Ultimate Goal,’ and in short entails that each team’s robot will be able to throw three rings into a tall box-like target while being controlled by a remote and by it’s coding. Team 7110 did considerably well this year at the majority of their competitions and placed ahead of almost all of the teams they competed against this year.
Although, besides doing well at their competitions, the members of 7110 did more than just build a robot to cream its competitors. “A lot of it is the robot and just being able to do well in your matches and achieve that. But, the reason we moved on to super qualifiers was actually our community service and outreach stuff. Last year we wrote handmade cards for hospitalized children and then this year we made a bunch of masks for Tanager Place, which is really good because not only are you helping out with a really relevant problem, but also because we were able to help connect people in our community with a mental health clinic that they may be in need of,” said Emma Walton, sophomore. For teams like 7110, doing acts of community service could earn them the Motivate Award, which is dependent on the team’s efforts to reach out to the community.
This year’s Super Qualifiers has been slightly adjusted to allow for COVID precautions to take place, specifically the Qualifiers will be held virtually and will host 24 teams instead of what would normally be 48. Despite this, the students and coaches apart of 7110 are still excited to be a part of the occasion. Mia Utsinger, sophomore, in particular is thankful for the opportunity alone, “I’m kinda sad that we can’t attend Super Qualifiers face-to-face this year, but I’m still really looking forward to hanging out with my friends the entire day.”
2020-2021 Super Qualifiers will be held this Friday, April 2, and the results will be released the following day on Saturday, April 3. With that, we wish this remarkable team the best of luck and hope they dominate their competition!