Triple Helix Takes First at Hampton Roads Event

Triple Helix's robot delivers another gear for points in the competition.

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Triple Helix's robot delivers another gear for points in the competition.

Laura Madler, Staff Writer

Triple Helix, the Menchville Robotics team, triumphed with a first place win at the FIRST Robotics Hampton Roads Event on March 17th-19th. Not only did the team’s alliance win the competition, but Triple Helix was also presented with the Chairman’s Award, the most acclaimed award in the FIRST organization.

Menchville’s robotics team hit the ground running at the Hampton Roads District Event, winning 14 of the 18 matches they competed in. During the quarterfinals match, Triple Helix set the highest score at the event- winning the first quarterfinals match with 340 points (235 points above the opposing alliance). Even in the last two finals matches, Triple Helix’s alliance stamped out their competition with 70 and 35 point leads, respectively.

The team’s success and good sportsmanship did not go unnoticed, and the Triple Helix won the most important award of the FIRST district events- the Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is, as stated by FIRST, an award that “honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.” The recognition is presented to a team who has consistently been performing well in competition for the past few years, as well as making a positive difference in its community. In order to be considered for this award, Triple Helix submitted an essay and a video to the judges about the team and how the students have worked to better themselves and the Newport News community through service.

Outreach and community service is an integral part of the FIRST program that is expected of competing teams. Menchville’s team excels in this area, undertaking numerous projects in the Newport News area. Every summer, Triple Helix leads a robotics camp for middle school students, inspiring them to pursue robotics and engineering in the future. The team also sponsors a FIRST Lego Robotics team at B.C. Charles Elementary and often organizes fundraisers for charity causes.