A Robotics Royale

Menchvilles Triple Helix  Robotics team won the FIRST Chesapeake District competition.  The challenge took place March 2-3 in Haymarket, VA.

courtesy of Todd Ferrante

Menchville’s Triple Helix Robotics team won the FIRST Chesapeake District competition. The challenge took place March 2-3 in Haymarket, VA.


Triple Helix returned victorious last night, having won the FIRST Chesapeake District – Haymarket VA event along with partners 612 and 1731!  They entered eliminations with an overall ranking of 5th prepared to face a tough battle against great opponents.  The teams robot, Genome Lambda, is technically ambitious, making use of several electromechanical & controls techniques on the cutting edge, and the team discovered several areas of improvement via an iterative break & repair cycle completed many times over the course of the 2-day event.  Genome Lambda took every eliminations round to 3 matches, finally besting the 2nd-ranked alliance with TWO one-point wins in the final matches, for the hard-fought event win.  It  couldn’t possibly have been more dramatic! Glenna Gomez, the team strategist, said  “It went way better than we expected and really brought the team together. It was really cool to work with other local and regional teams.”

The team was also awarded the Engineering Inspiration Award, FIRST’s 2nd-highest honor.  An inspirational Texas team said recently that they consider EI the “most important award in FRC as it shows you are working in your community to spread STEM in effective ways.”  Here’s what the judges had to say about the robotics team:

“The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s community. Inspiring others to respect science and technology requires passion, knowledge, and commitment. FIRST celebrates these qualities by presenting its Engineering Inspiration Award. This team embraces the FIRST principle of creating an inclusive space for all. To democratize STEAM, they have turned to YouTube, opened a makerspace, and encouraged all ages to join their team. This team has brains, drive, and passion… which makes them a triple threat. Qualifying to compete for the Engineering Inspiration Award at District Championship, Team 2363!”

With this win and award, the team has clinched their berth at the District Championship at GMU in early April.  They are also probably about 60% of the way to punching their ticket to the FIRST Championship in Detroit in late April.

The team is now preparing for their next event, March 16-17 at Churchland HS in Portsmouth, and would like to invite everyone to come visit the event to cheer the team on!