The Rancho Santa Fe Intergalactic Dragons robotics team from R. Roger Rowe Middle School recently competed at the 2016 U.S. First World Robotics Championship in St. Louis, Mo. The Dragons earned their spot at the World Championships after winning eight of nine qualifying matches at the West Super Regional FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), capturing the gold division.
The Dragons were one of 128 FTC teams that advanced from the four Super Regional Competitions held in the U.S., along with several international teams. The Intergalactic Dragons,consisting of Lucas Luwa, Justin Yu, Conrad Delgado, Daniel Scuba and Clara Ritto, were one of three middle school teams competing among the teams comprised mostly of high school students.
Over the course of four days at the World Championship, the team was interviewed by a panel of judges and competed in nine qualifying matches. They won five of nine matches and ended up placing 23rd out of 64 teams in the Edison division.
“I can’t believe our middle school team actually made it to the World Championship,” said Coach Dave Warner. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of this team!”
Warner said all of the hard work that this team put into FTC over the last two years makes it a fitting end to an incredible ride they had this year. According to the official FTC website, the RSF Intergalactic Dragons are currently ranked 30th in the world among the 5,000 FTC teams that began the season.
All together, the four programs at the 2016 U.S. First World Robotic Championship had 900 teams attending from 39 countries. There were over 40,000 people in attendance. Next season, the 2017 U.S. First Championship will be held in two locations, Houston and St. Louis, to accommodate the growth of the program.