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Robotics and its remarkable 2018 season

The+Night+Hawks+pose+for+a+picture+after+becoming+a+week+4+finalist.
The Night Hawks pose for a picture after becoming a week 4 finalist.

The Night Hawks pose for a picture after becoming a week 4 finalist.

Mark J. Lucas

Mark J. Lucas

The Night Hawks pose for a picture after becoming a week 4 finalist.

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Hayfield Hosted Competition 

Hayfield’s hosting of the FIRST Robotics Competition marks an important event in FCPS history; this was the first robotics competition to be held in a Fairfax County school and included visits from Principal Grimm and WUSA 9.

Setup began directly after the Spring Pep Rally, with teams rolling their robots into the gymnasium starting at 6 p.m. The competition then continued on Saturday, alongside the SAT.

Even with the hassle of setup and tear down, the event allotted great benefits for the Hayfield Robotics program.

“[The Robotics Competition] was a chance for us to show off the school to everyone else in the district,” robotics mentor Joey Kerns said. “The main take away from it was that we had all of our students working the entire time for competition. That’s my favorite thing [about it], and the biggest bonus was that we had 35 or 40 students the entire weekend working to make sure everything ran smoothly. ”

Accomplishments & Awards

The team chose to compete in weeks one and four during the season. During week one, the Night Hawks were ranked seventh and made it to semi-finals.

The week four competition, however, was a drastically different story. The team ranked 23rd overall, but with perseverance and a little luck, they advanced all the way to finals. The Hawks were awarded silver medals for their performance along with the Industrial Design award for their robot’s unique shooter design.

The team’s performance at both events allowed them to qualify for District Championships, which was hosted at the University of Maryland Xfinity Center this year. There, they ranked 15th overall and again advanced all the way in to semi-finals.

The Night Hawks’ combined effort from all three competitions ranked them high enough to qualify for World Championships, hosted in Detroit, MI, on April 25-28. This is the team’s first qualification for Worlds, and robotics participants are delighted by the progress made this year.

“This season was hard fought,” junior Jorge Flores said. “We had some struggles, we had some good times, but overall it was a pretty fun season, but it takes a lot of hard work to build a robot.”

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