by Sam Smith

Loveland, OH– Loveland Robotics Team 5040 has found success this season, leading them to compete against teams from over sixty different countries at FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) worlds. Loveland will compete against 120 teams with an average of ten players per team. The competition in Detroit, Michigan is a result of three local tournaments and a state championship where the team was chosen to advance.

The team has been preparing since September, The team meets three nights a week, and individuals often meet outside of officially scheduled robotics meetings. The team has been perfecting their robot for eight months and their hard work will pay off in the attendance of the World Competition from April 24th-28th.

Loveland Robotics Team 5040 Back Row: Jackson Daumeyer, Ben Kavouras, Bryce Reinhold, Garrett Royal, Jacob Chiarenzelli, Matthew Spitzley, Nate Matuszak, Kat Sanderson Front Row: Kai Reinhold, Haley Dues, Stephanie Spitzley, Cooper Baumgarth

“This competition gives us the opportunity to interact with the next generation of STEM professionals while providing a unique challenge to help us grow in all aspects from building a robot to communication skills,” Senior, Garrett Royal explained.

Team 5040 prepares to test new changes to their robot

FTC Robotics is an organization backed by tech and STEM companies that challenge 7-12th-grade students to design, build, program and operate robots in order to overcome a specific obstacle. The program aims to help teach students about the growing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and encourage improvement in communication, problem-solving and leadership. While building robots is at the core of the program, students must also fight for sponsorships and coordinate money management.

There are roughly forty students in the Loveland Robotics program, and 12 on team 5040. Within 5040, there are subteams focused on building, programming and business. Each subteam has a leader who keeps their group on-task and moving forward. The teams are overseen by Loveland engineering teacher, Ms. Amy Stewart.

The robotics team meets on a Sunday afternoon to improve and plan

The mechanical guts of team 5040’s 2018 build

Each year in September, a new FTC challenge, or “game”, is announced. This year, teams compete in a game called Relic Recover. The teams are challenged to stack cubes called Glyphs into a 3×4 “Cryptobox”. Specific patterns allow teams to earn more points. Additionally, there is a plastic figure known as a “relic” that the robot is programmed to pick up and move over a wall in order to increase points. The goal is to move the relic as far as possible.

“We do a lot of drive practice. We run match after match, trying to get faster and more consistent at each element of the game. This has helped us learn how to manage problems and what to expect during actual competition. Our drivers have been able to master their controls, which is something a lot of other teams do not have as much practice in,” Senior, Haley Dues explained.

Team 5040 practices building a Cryptobox. Different brown/white patterns are placed into the vertical 3×4 box for varying points.

Last year, the two robotics teams also found success– Team 10464 competed in the State Tournament for the second straight year, and Team 5040 traveled to the World Championship marking the first time in Loveland history a team has competed on the world level.

An arm extends a piece of the challenge over the arena wall

Although the prize for winning worlds is just a trophy (and bragging rights), the team sees it as an exciting opportunity.

“Every robot has something unique about it and it’s fun to talk to people who are just as nerdy about robots as you,” Bryce Reinhold explained in regards to the Worlds competition.

The competition will livesteam here. If you are interested in helping sponsor the $10,000 yearly cost of running the two FTC teams, visit the Loveland Robotics website.

Application packets for the Loveland robotics team can be picked up by interested high schools students from Ms. Stewart in room 128 and are due April 20th.

Jarvis Global Investments, LLC

Jarvis Global is an investment advisory firm in Symmes Township, Ohio which offers private portfolio management and retirement services to high net worth individuals.


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