Three of Howell's FIRST Tech Challenge robotics teams will be competing for a state championship this weekend.

Three Howell Public Schools FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics teams have advanced to the FIRST in Michigan FTC State Championship that kicks off today. Those advancing are Team #15229 Kids Understanding Developing Outstanding Science (KUDOS), Team #10538 Kids Inventing Learning Technology Science (KILTS) and Team #8646 Kids Acting Out Science (KAOS). The teams are advancing based on their performance at two qualifying competitions held earlier this year. This is the fourth consecutive year that Team #8646 KAOS and Team #10538 KILTS have advanced to the state finals. It will be the first time for team #15229 KUDOS, who are currently in their rookie season.

Team #15229 KUDOS qualified for the state event at the Mason Qualifier Competition. At the event, the team was selected to be part of an alliance and advanced to the finals before being eliminated. Team #10538 KILTS also secured their place at the state finals during the Mason Qualifier Competition were they were selected to join an alliance for the semifinals before being eliminated. The team claimed the PTC Design Award and was running up for the Control Award, Inspire Award, and the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award. Team #8646 KAOS advanced earned their spot at the state finals during the Howell Qualifier Competition where they finished match play in second place and advanced to the semifinals as an alliance team captain. The team advanced to the finals before being eliminated. Howell’s fourth FTC Team, Team #15465 Kids Robotics and Science of Howell (KRASH) fell short of advancing to the state finals but had an impressive rookie season. At the Mason Qualifier Competition, the team earned the Control Award and were finalists for the Motivate Award at the Howell Qualifier Competition.

This year’s FTC competition is Rover Ruckus. In Rover Ruckus, the student created and operated robots will work in a three-team alliance as they try to a higher score than the opposing alliance by descending from the Lander, collecting Minerals from the Crater and sort Minerals into the Cargo Hold of the Lander. The FIRST in Michigan FTC State Championship runs through December 15th at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek. (JM)