For the first time in the history of the program, Cushing's Robotics team competed in the 2018 VEX Robotics Southern New England Regional Championship after their triumph in the Qualifying Championship in Hopkinton, Mass. in early December. Regionals was a two-day tournament that took place over the first weekend of March. Over 150 matches took place on the first day of competition alone, with each match taking place in five-minute intervals.
Cushing was one of 80 teams competing for a spot in the VEX Robotics World Championship. Every year a different challenge is released by VEX Robotics and the students have to design and build their robot to score as many points as possible in the game. This year, the game was called “In the Zone”.The 12 members of Cushing Robotics have been designing, building, and programming their robot for this challenge since school began in early September 2017.
Captains Genie Kang '18, Jacky Wang '18, and Tom Wu '18 co-piloted the robot in several matches over the course of the competition. Each match was two on two and before starting, Stanley Shen '19 would scout out our assigned allied team and collaborate on strategy against the opposing two teams. The first 15 seconds of each match is done in "autonomous mode", where the students are required to rely on their robot's pre-programmed tasks in order to gain bonus points. After that, the student drivers were in control of their machines, quickly collecting cones to be placed in goals or playing defensively to block the other teams from scoring.
With every match, Cushing Gear Works improved their gameplay and standing within the tournament. The students remained steadfast through challenges and worked with teams from other schools to improve.
When all was said and done, Cushing placed 20th out of 80 teams. Although they were not selected by one of the top eight teams for playoff matches, the team should be proud of their achievement regardless. The team painted their hair purple before Sunday's matches in a show of Cushing spirit and left the weekend with a sense of accomplishment. Cushing Gear Works wrote Cushing Robotics history by making it to the competition and we are sure that it will not be their last trip to Regionals!
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.