It turns out 13 is a lucky number for the South River High School Power Hawks First Robotics Team.
In its 13th year of existence, the team joined the ranks of the world’s elite by earning the Regional Chairman’s Award at the recent New York Tech Valley Regional FIRST Robotics competition in Troy, N.Y. The Power Hawks are the first county team to win the award, considered the most prestigious in the scholastic robotics world. The Power Hawks are now qualified to compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) world championships in St. Louis next month.
“For years the Power Hawks have been working to spread FIRST Robotics and STEM throughout Anne Arundel County and Maryland,” said South River High School junior Eleanor Wood, the Power Hawks’ student chief executive officer. “Winning this award confirms that we’re on the right path to spread our passion for such an influential program.”
The Chairman’s Award “honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST,” according to the FIRST website. Among the 5,000 teams around the world, only about 60 earn the award each year.
To earn the award, Power Hawks members ran a summer camp for Anne Arundel County Public Schools students, started numerous new elementary and middle school-level FIRST teams, hosted a competition for 35 other elementary and middle school-level FIRST teams for the past five years, tutored Central Middle School students for 2,000 hours, and conducted three separate charitable drives to support AACPS students. Group members also are involved in AACPS’ STEM initiatives, and attend school STEM nights regularly.
The mission of FIRST is “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build skills, inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”
The Power Hawks will compete against approximately 600 teams at the world championships. For more information go to www.powerhawks.org.