Engage. Inspire. Empower.

Mechanical Minds Team Advances to World FIRST Robotics Competition

NEWTON, April 10, 2024 -- The Mechanical Minds, a remarkable team of dedicated students
representing high schools from across our county, have made an extraordinary leap forward in
the world of robotics by qualifying for the prestigious World FIRST Robotics Competition, set to
take place in Houston, Texas, from April 17th to 20th, 2023.

After showcasing their skills and determination in two regional events at UNC-A and Palisades
High School in Charlotte, the team gathered enough Ranking Points to secure a spot in the State
FIRST Robotics Competition held at ECU from April 5th to 7th. Competing against 40 teams, the
Mechanical Minds demonstrated exceptional prowess and strategic thinking, finishing the
qualifying matches ranked 13th. Notably, only the top 8 teams initially moved forward to form
alliances for the subsequent rounds.

In a surprising turn of events during the competition, Alliance One, the top alliance, chose the
Mechanical Minds to join their team. Alliance One went on to claim the championship, propelling
the Mechanical Minds and their partners into the World Championships, surpassing the team's
initial goal and expectations.

The journey to the world stage in Houston represents not only an opportunity for the team to
compete at an international level but also a significant financial undertaking. Over $50,000 is
needed to support the 26 students and mentors making the trip, underscoring the importance of
community and district support to make this dream a reality.

The Mechanical Minds team comprises a diverse and talented group of students, each bringing
unique strengths to the team:

● Camden A. (10th Grade, SSHS)
● Kaitlyn B. (11th Grade, SSHS)
● Taran C. (10th Grade, SSHS)
● Powell D. (11th Grade, SSHS)
● Dayten F. (10th Grade, SSHS)
● Sage F. (10th Grade, Challenger)
● Josiah F. (11th Grade, Discovery)
● David F. (11th Grade, SSHS)

● Oliver F. (9th Grade, SSHS)
● Wendy G.-L.(10th Grade, SSHS)
● Brennan G. (9th Grade, SSHS)
● Jared H. (9th Grade, Bunker Hill)
● Austin L. (10th Grade, FTF)
● Noah L. (10th Grade, SSHS)
● Elijah M. (12th Grade, Maiden)
● Colin M. (9th Grade, SSHS)
● Maria N. (11th Grade, SSHS)
● Lucas P. (10th Grade, Hickory)
● Harper P. (10th Grade, SSHS)
● Kara R. (10th Grade, SSHS)
● Rebecca R.-M. (12th Grade, SSHS)
● Catherine S. (10th Grade, Challenger)
● Jacob S. (12th Grade, SSHS)
● Jaylynn S. (9th Grade, SSHS)
● Lance T. (9th Grade, SSHS)
● Lexie T. (9th Grade, SSHS)
● Kirk W. (12th Grade, Discovery)

As the Mechanical Minds prepare for their journey to the World Championships, we call upon the
community, local businesses, and all stakeholders to support these inspiring young minds. Their
success is a testament to the power of STEM education and the boundless potential of our
students when they are empowered to pursue their passions.

For information on how to support the Mechanical Minds' journey to the World Championships,
please contact their advisor, Blaire_Miller@catawbaschools.net.

About FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST Robotics Competition is an internationally recognized robotics competition that
challenges students to design, build, and compete with robots, fostering skills in engineering,
teamwork, and problem-solving. It brings together young minds from around the globe in a
celebration of innovation and robotics education.