The President's Day weekend was a busy one for the North Marion Voltmasters.
Three new robotics teams, and their robots, joined the North Marion High School roster: Teams C (The Claw), D (DumDum), and E (The Beast), along with Team B (Scorpion), attended the rookies-only tournament on Feb. 18 at Dallas High School.
Though the varsity squad didn't enter its robot, Juggernaut, some of the team members traveled to Dallas to support the younger teams.
The Scorpions made their way through the qualifying rounds and when it all over, Samantha Patton was the last member standing, alone in first place. And with that finish, she had the first choices in selecting other teams to join her alliance heading into the quarterfinals. Her alliance would make it to the finals before falling, earning a second place.
Teams C, with members Daniel Gonzalez, Brice Ferrell, and Grace Bramel, finished in seventh place, while Team D's Hunter Wierstra and Beau Wilson managed to take 10th.
But the newbie tourney wasn't the end of the robotics weekend.
All North Marion robots attended the rescheduled Sandy tournament on Feb. 20 "and most performed respectably against far more experienced teams," said adviser Sherie Moran. "For some members that had been unable to attend the rookie tournament, it was a bit overwhelming, but they still put in a solid showing."
Teams C and E were able to select their own alliances going into the quarterfinals and although none of the teams made it to the semifinals, "a lot was learned about engineering, robotics, and computer science," said Moran. "Now that everyone better understands the challenges, they are eager to return to the classroom to make modifications to their robots, their programs and their strategies as they look toward their home tournament on Feb 25."