SM North, SM East, Bishop Miege robotics teams also hit the tournament floor over weekend

SM East students bring their robot back to the pit after a run.
SM East students bring their robot back to the pit after a run.

In the realm of high school tournaments, this one has all the challenges and hype of a state championship. The stands are full and the crowd is loud. Offense, and sometimes defense, matter. So does teamwork. But your robot also has to run well.

SM East, SM North and Bishop Miege were among the nearly 60 teams from as far away as Wisconsin and Oklahoma that went head-to-head at the FIRST Robotics Kansas City regional this weekend. Only Miege made it onto an alliance into the final round, but robots from SM East and SM North performed well in the qualifying rounds.

The regional matches started Thursday and the crowd jammed the MCC Business & Technology Center in Kansas City for the event that wrapped up Saturday evening. The robots had to breach defenses built around a castle theme.

Although they won’t move on to the World finals in St. Louis in April, the SM East team did receive an award for its creativity in building the drive train for the robot.

The regional caps a year of work that begins at the start of the school year and intensifies in January when the year’s official challenge and basic robot kits are released. All of the Shawnee Mission schools had teams in the competition.

SM North team works on its robot in the pits.
SM North team works on its robot in the pits.
Robots in action on the competition field Saturday.
Robots in action on the competition field Saturday.
The SM East drive team operates the robot during a match.
The SM East drive team operates the robot during a match.