Thursday, March 19, 2020
maria d. french - Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy HS
SOUTHWEST RANCHES | Student robotics experts from Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School won their third straight state championship title during the recent VEX Robotics Competition at Florida International University.
Maverick Robotics, as the McCarthy teams are collectively known, took part in the 57-team tournament, with four of their seven robots — the most of any school — reaching the semifinals. One team from McCarthy High reached the quarterfinals of the tournament, with two other teams reaching the semifinals.
Two other McCarthy teams won separate honors, the Create Award and the Innovate Award, at the Feb. 29 event.
The competition took the form of two-minute matches. In each match, two-robot teams competed to collect cubes from across a field 12 feet square, then to stack them. The larger the stacks, the more points earned. The robots could earn extra points by placing cubes in towers on the field.
McCarthy students finished qualification matches undefeated, then chose the team from Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, as their partner for the rest of day — an alliance that took home the championship.
This year was McCarthy’s third straight state title and the first for Columbus' students. Four Maverick teams qualified for the world championship, planned for Louisville, Kentucky. However, the competition was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Maverick Robotics consists of 29 students and six robots plus five middle school students from neighboring St. Mark School, Southwest Ranches, for which McCarthy students serve as mentors. The middle schoolers fielded their own robot.
Hundreds of hours went into building and rebuilding the machines. Team members meet for two and a half hours each weekday. They also work throughout the summer and during many school holidays.
The VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation, is the largest contest of its kind. It involves more than a million students in 24,000 teams in 61 countries.