SSSAS Thunder Stone Robotics Team (courtesy photo)

The St. Stephen's and St. Agnes Upper School veteran robotics team, Thunder Stone, was part of the winning alliance that succeeded in the FTC Eastern Virginia Qualifying Tournament at Heritage High School in Newport News on Feb. 3. SSSAS advances to compete in the Virginia state tournament on Feb. 24.

High school teams from all across Virginia participated in the competition, with only a few qualifying for states. The Saintsā€™ Thunder Stone team has qualified and competed in the state competition for the last four years.

Thunder Stone competes in FTC Eastern Virginia Qualifier (courtesy photo)

During the competition, teams were judged based upon robot design, robot performance, an interview, strategy of play, functionality, efficiency and creativity of the robot design, and thoroughness of the engineering notebook. The highlight of the competition for our students was winning theĀ Motivate Award, which celebrates the team that represents the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition through team building, team spirit, and displayed enthusiasm. Thunder Stone also placed third for the Inspire Award, which is awarded to teams that are an inspiration to other teams, acting with gracious professionalism both on and off the playing field.

The SSSAS rookie team, Iron Giants, also competed in the tournament. They set several personal high scores in the competition and will use the experience and momentum gained at the tournament for future competitions!

SSSAS robotics team members meet several times a week and even some weekends to familiarize themselves with the parts, mechanisms, and motors and to prepare for challenges. They also compete in numerous competitions throughout the year.

The state tournament will be held at Boiling Field House in Richmond on Feb. 24.