Secret City Wildbots Alliance Wins Regional Competition, Advances to World Championship

March 29, 2018

From Thursday, March 22, through Saturday, March 24, 2018, the Secret City Wildbots (Team 4265) competed at the Smoky Mountains Regional competition at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. After completing 10 qualification matches, Team 4265 ranked eighth in a field of 51 teams. Mars (Team 2614), the number one seated alliance captain, chose Team 4265 and the RoboKomodos (Team 4306) from Franklin, TN, to compete with them in the playoffs, where they went undefeated. Team 4265 finished the competition with a 14-2 record, winning the Smoky Mountain Regional with their alliance partners and earning an invitation to the FIRST World Championships in Houston, Texas, April 18-21, 2018.

For the third time, the Secret City Wildbots won the Engineering Inspiration award and $5,000 from NASA to cover their entry fee to the competition. This award celebrates Team 4265’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within our school and community. The judges cited as evidence our Robotics Lab-in-a-Box partnership with Roane State Foundation, which has placed nine Lab-in-a-Box kits in the hands of middle school teachers in rural East Tennessee counties as well as their collaborative organization of the Robo Rodeo at the TN Valley Fair in September. This event allowed FIRST Robotics teams to compete in the off-season with the year’s challenges.

Eric Thornton, a junior at Oak Ridge High School for Team 4265, was a Dean's List Finalist. Eric will compete at the championships with other regional winners for the FIRST Dean's List award. This award celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. This is the third Dean's List Finalist to come from Team 4265 in seven years.

The Secret City Wildbots have been working to build their robot Mantis and prepare for their regional competitions since January 6, 2018. It is evident from the accomplishments that their hard work has paid off. In addition to students from Oak Ridge High School, two students from Oliver Springs High School joined Team 4265 this year. Please join us in congratulating our seniors: Andrew Chan, Eli Charles, Ruth Hammond, Olivia Mahathy, Connor Shelander, Caden Webb, Dalton Wilson, and underclassmen members: Brennan Brooks, Ty Dahl, Dalton Davis, Faith Guzman, Blake Norris, Levi Parish, Mack Patrick, Julia Steele, Eric Thornton, and Matthew Wood.

The team is grateful for the support of many sponsors including: Bechtel, UT-Battelle, Roane State Foundation, Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation, Leidos, Baird & Wilson Sheet Metal, Oak Ridge Tool-Engineering, Inc., RT Coatings, Axis Fabrication and Machine Co., CNS Y-12, SAIC, Centrus, Navarro, ESG, MS Technology, Navarro, Fastenal, First Place Finish, Mr. & Mrs. Groff, Seward Norris Construction Co., UCOR, Arconic Foundation, Volunteer Case & Container, The Buckner Family, Spectrum Techniques, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, The Schramm Family, The Chan Family, C & D Tire Service, Ashley Parks, Tag Groff, and for Oak Ridge Schools Carl Perkins and Bill Haslam CTE equipment grants.

Submitted by: Lisa Buckner