This month, the FIRST Robotics team celebrated their success by defeating 77 teams in their inaugural trip at the FIRST Championship competition in Houston, Texas, which hosted thousands of students from over fifty countries worldwide.
Introducing the team
N.E.R.D. Spark is the name of the team, and winning is the theme! N.E.R.D. Spark comprises 14 girls and 10 boys in grades 9-12 — about half the number of other teams they went up against at the competition. This 2023 season is their rookie season, and even as a brand new team from a small town, they’ve undoubtedly made their mark.
What they do
Robotics combines computer science and engineering to make robots that complete tasks. The team meets virtually and in person to work together to create their robots. They work with coaches, programmers, and designers/builders to make their visions and ideas come to life. Aside from building robots, N.E.R.D. Spark allows its students to organize events, get involved in the community, and meet and work with others. All of these experiences help to build a great foundation for their futures.
Celebrating the win
As mentioned, N.E.R.D. Spark recently took the win for their division at the FIRST Championship competition. It doesn’t stop there either: The team was also awarded the Rookie All-Star and Rookie High Seed awards in their division, launching them into the world championships.
Not only is this a huge win for any team, but especially a brand new team making its way into the world of robotics. N.E.R.D. Spark more than proved that being rookies doesn’t diminish the talent or motivation behind the team members: Their robot was built in six weeks, just in time for the 2023 season, and they most definitely came ready to compete.
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What does this mean for the future of N.E.R.D. Spark?
As a nonprofit organization founded in collaboration with Caster Concepts, Inc. and Conceptual Innovations, Innovate Albion’s goal is to grow from the success of our fantastic robotics team, double the size of this year’s team, and grow as a leading S.T.E.M. education center. With the excellent facilities already available, like the large testing area on the second floor of the Innovation Center, the mission is to reach more kids and young adults with the potential to excel in science and technology.
With the goal of growing and retaining local talent, Innovate Albion is a Caster Concepts-powered nonprofit organization: They have continued to support the overall program and N.E.R.D. Spark in many ways.
We’re incredibly proud of our fantastic team and all of the work they’ve been putting in this season. It’s been paying off, and we can’t wait to see the incredible things they do in the weeks and future seasons to come.