MHS students win state competition

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Phoenix Force, a robotics team made up of five MHS students won the FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship on Feb. 22 in Milwaukee.

The top three teams out of the 28 who advanced to state, which was at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, qualified for the World Competition in Detroit at the end of April. Nearly 160 teams representing 70 countries are expected to participate in the World Competition.

Team members include sophomores Cara Davis (main CAD designer), Thomas Kurr (mechanical engineer), Abby Woldt (mechanical engineer), Arianna Larson (main electrical engineer) and senior Moyraa Ismail Ali (lead programmer and captain). The team is coached by Lance and Amy Larsen.

Ali noted the team was ranked first at state and also set a record for the highest state score.

The team qualified for state by advancing out of a qualifying tournament where teams were judged on outreach, engineering design, and game performance. Phoenix Force took first place in its qualifier and also finished in second place for the Inspire Award.

Each year, FIRST comes up with a new challenge in which teams design, build, and program -- both autonomous and driver controlled periods -- robots to compete in. This year, the competition was also sponsored by Star Wars. Throughout the season, the robot competes against others to get the most points during a match. Teams advance to the next level based on those performances.

To learn more, please visit the FIRST Wisconsin website or the MSOE FIRST Tech Challenge State Affiliate website.