Panther Powered: FIRST Robotics Team Takes on First Competition



Anticipation. Senior Luke Fillip and sophomore Kelsey Andrews anxiously wait as volunteers inspect their robot to see if it qualified for the competition. “There is a 120-page rule manual that our robot has to follow,” coach Bryan Tasior said.

With teams and robots flooding the room, the bustling scene was a new sight for the young FIRST Robotics team. On Thursday, March 1, the Panther Powered team headed to Gibraltar, Michigan to begin the 3-day competition. 1

FIRST, an acronym meaning “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is a program used to encourage involvement in the STEM field. The teams work in a 6-week period to create a robot that can play in a game for the competition.

Team coach Bryan Tasior was pleased with the results of the first event. “We did well. We definitely overcame a lot of challenges,” he said.

Panther Powered, finished 24 out of 48 teams in their first competition of the year.

The team consists of 20 students, yet out of those, 18 are underclassmen.

Sophomore Jonathan Clark thinks, “We worked together really well and coordinated really well, better than I would have expected.”

Panther Powered continues to work on their robot in preparation for their next competition March 22 through March 24.

Their goal is to keep improving each match, according to Tasior. They are working toward making it into the playoffs selection process in their next competition starting March 22.

Tasior emphasized, “Engineering is all about recovering from problems. You need to not let stress take away the fun of it.”