Blog: South River PowerHawks Robotics JV Team Advances to State Final

By Elaine Mylod

Once again, the South River High School Junior Varsity Robotics teams, Talons (Team 3976) and Mech Hawks (Team 5178) showed more than their mettle at recent competitions.  On Jan. 26, at the Capital College FIRST Tech Challenge(FTC) qualifier competition, both teams finished third and fourth after the qualifying matches. They then teamed up as alliance partners for the final matches.  They went all the way to the final round, where they fell, 2 to 1, giving both the Mech Hawks and Talons the runner-up award.

FTC at the Naval Academy on Jan. 12, from the First Tech Challenge Facebook page.

During the awards ceremony, the South River teams received recognition that matched their robots’ great performance.


The Talons won the Think Award.  This judged award is given to the team that best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The Engineering Notebook is the key reference and focuses on the design and build stage of the team’s robot. Notebook journal entries include description of the steps, brainstorms, designs, re‐designs, successes, and those “interesting moments” when things didn’t go as planned.

The Mech Hawks received FTC’s highest award, the Inspire Award.  This judged award is given to the team that truly embodies the “challenge” of the FTC program. The team was selected for having best represented a “role model” FIRST Tech Challenge Team, is a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field. The Inspire Award Winner is an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious Professionalism™ both on and off the playing field. This team understands how to communicate their experiences and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, and the judges. This award qualifies the Mech Hawks to go to the Maryland State FTC championships.

In a prior qualifier competition on Jan. 12 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, the Jr. Power Hawks (Team 3583) received the Connect Award.  This award is given to the team that most connected with their local community and the engineering community. By winning this award the Jr. Power Hawks also advance to the Maryland FTC State Competition.

Two of the three of SRHS Jr. Varsity teams will be competing in the Maryland FTC State Competition to be held Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Lab in Laurel. For more information on the Power Hawks Robotics programs, visit them online.

Congratulations to the Power Hawks FTC teams!

Learn more about FIRST Robotics and the FIRST Tech Challenge.

Elaine Mylod is a business mentor for the PowerHawks.

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