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FIRST Robotics Finishes Season at World Championships

FIRST Robotics Finishes Season at World Championships

For the second time in the team’s short history, USM’s FIRST Robotics Team #6823 made it all the way to the world championships thanks to their award-winning regional competitions.

The University School of Milwaukee FIRST Robotics Team #6823 had a whirlwind season, competing at three regional competitions and finishing at the world championships in Houston. Twenty-one team members and seven mentors attended (pictured, right), with 19 countries represented at the event. “Our team made it to the world championships once before, in 2018,” said Patricia Ptak, 2nd grade teacher and robotics coordinator. “It is a huge accomplishment to be able to go.”

The 2023 USM robotics team poses for a photo in Houston at the world championships.

Prior to the world championships, the team participated in regional competitions in St. Louis; Orlando, Florida; and Huntsville, Alabama. At each regional competition, the students gained valuable insight and practice. In St. Louis, the Wildcats were part of the winning alliance and won the FIRST Robotics Engineering Inspiration award, which secured the team’s place at the world championship, with the registration fee paid by NASA. In Orlando, the team took home the Excellence in Engineering award, and in Huntsville, the team finished No. 6 out of a field of 50—the robot’s best performance of the year.

The FIRST Robotics Competition, for high school students, combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams of students are challenged to design, build, and program industrial-size, semi-autonomous robots and compete for awards, while they also create a team identity, raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and advance respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community.

Team 6823's robot along with a work area of tools and past championship banners.
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