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Mary and Emily Win World Robotics Championship!

Two Grier seniors just won the FIRST® Robotics World Championship in Detroit! The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) is a prestigious and highly competitive program for high school students. Teams worldwide participate in building professional grade metal robots that are up to eight and a half feet tall, controlled by a laptop and joystick via WiFi, and constructed over the course of six weeks. Over 3,600 active teams from 27 countries around the world participate in the FRC.
Mary D. and Emily C. are members of Centre County’s 4H Robotics (CC4H Robotics), and organization which established a team to compete in the FRC. According to CC4H Robotics’ website, they are “a local STEM organization focused on education, teamwork, and real world innovation. CC4H Robotics believes that exposing a diverse group of kids to real world engineering challenges at an early age is critical in developing our next generation of innovators.”

The robot designed by Mary, Emily, and their other team members was designed to deliver "Power Cubes" to a six-foot high goal in the center of the field as well as delivering to the lower goal both autonomously and under human control.

Emily and Mary’s team won the FRC regional competition against teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and Ontario in Pittsburgh this March, and then raised money to attend the World Championship in Detroit. During these competitions, individual teams join forces to form “alliances,” with each alliance consisting of four teams. In Detroit, Mary and Emily’s team first made it through the qualifying rounds before their alliance proceeded to win the division playoffs and move onto the match finals, ultimately defeating the other strongest contender and claiming the first place title.

Mary and Emily’s team members shared some interesting statistics that help those who are not familiar with the competition to understand the significance of their team win:

  • 405 teams from across the world competed in the Detroit FIRST® Robotics World Championship, so when Emily and Mary’s team won their division, they were  in the top 2% of teams in the world.
  • Winning the Championship put the team in the in the top 0.2% of teams in the world!
  • Emily and Mary’s team is the first team ever from Pennsylvania to win the World Championship (teams from Pennsylvania have competed in FRC since 1997). 
  • Over 40,000 people attended the Detroit Championship.
Mary spoke to both the Centre Daily Times and TV news station WJAC about the win and its significance. Penn State also picked up the story. While Emily was able to attend the Detroit FIRST® Robotics World Championship April 26-28, Mary had to remain at Grier for her lead role of King Arthur in the Grier School Musical Spamalot. Mary and Emily are both in several advanced courses at Grier, including AP Computing Science Principles, AP Physics, and AP Calculus BC. They are in the midst of preparing for the AP exams that begin next week.

Grier is so impressed by the hard work and impressive engineering performed by Mary and Emily! Congratulations on this monumental win!

Learn more about Computer Science and Applications at Grier.

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Feature by Centre Daily Times:


Coverage from WJAC:




R.Woolfrey & CC4H-Robotics | Photo credit: R.Woolfrey, B.Hampton, & CC4H-Robotics
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Grier School

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Phone: 814-684-3000 | Fax: 814-684-2177