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Press Release from Madison Public Schools
The Daniel Hand High School (DHHS) Robotics team took first place at the Vex Robotics Qualifier on Nov. 2, securing a place in the Southern New England Championship competition next year.
The competition brought teams from all over New England to DHHS for the all-day event. The team from DHHS, team #1695B, had a bumpy start to the competition after their robot flipped on its back, but eventually came from behind to claim the top spot according to team captain Eric Dillner.
“We went to the tournament, we had a couple close matches, we continued through, we made it to the final match and it was just luck of the drawn in that match because the other team messed up on their autonomous and we got the bonus,” he said. “We had to play a lot of defense but we came out on top luckily.”
DHHS has a robust robotics program and has won numerous competitions but Dillner said this win was a first for many.
“It was amazing,” he said. “None of us were around the last time that Hand won a competition so we are part of a little bit of history for the robotics team.”
Between now and the next competition Dillner said the team will work to improve the robot and their overall competition strategy. Robotics teacher Mr. Bryan Amenta said these competitions are a great experience for students.
“The main thing is that they get the experience of competing because it is real world,” he said. “If they put the robot down and it doesn’t work, the match still happens and they lose and you next match is in 15 minutes so you have to figure it out.”
Robotics started at DHHS over 10 years ago. Amenta said in the beginning the team was one robot and a couple of kids after school. Now there are five robots and the team roster is up to 28 students. The class itself has two sections and Amenta said he would like to see that continue to grow. Dillner agreed and said more students should take an interest in this.
”Robotics is the future and not every sport is going to get you somewhere but technology is going to be all of the jobs in the future so it is something worth doing and investing in,” he said.