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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

As part of “Alliance 4,” Steel Hawks place second at Brunswick Eruption

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Eileen Wang
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Earlier this month the Steel Hawks competed at the 21st annual Brunswick Eruption at North Brunswick Township High School in New Jersey. Against a field of 42 teams, the Steel Hawks secured the 14th spot in the qualification rounds. As part of Alliance 4, the Steel Hawks joined two other teams  to advance to the playoffs and finish as the first runner-up.

Senior Gurjot Gill, president of the Steel Hawks, said that preparing for the competition was “intense…because we had to get ready for the competition in a short amount of time, making sure to remember everything and to prepare all the members.”

This year’s tournament, themed “Charged Up,” presented an electrifying challenge: competing robots had to strategically position cones and cubes across three distinct levels of shelves and nodes, which required both autonomous programming and teleoperated control. Another task each robot had to complete was maintaining balance on a dynamically unstable rocking platform. 

Junior Issac Wong, Head of Communications, said, “We made sure to get feedback from the team and applied that to how we ran our team this year.”

Physics teacher and head coach Joel Heitman discussed the team’s dynamic, and described how veteran members help train new members. He said, “As mentors, we don’t do a lot of training. The students train the students that want to join the team. It’s more student-led than it is teacher or faculty-led. It’s amazing to watch the students grow.” 

Freshman Bradley Bachoco, a member of the Mechanical sub-team, said, “The most [interesting] part of Brunswick was sitting in the stands, observing the different robots and how unique each of their designs were.”

“I talked with a lot of students and got their feedback on what they were enjoying and how they envisioned the robotics competition being and how they [actually] saw it being. I was really happy to be able to [do that] at the Brunswick Eruption,” said Mr. Heitman.

“We did not expect to get that far, and it was a great experience for everyone, especially the rookies who have never experienced a competition before,” said Gurjot.

After competing in the Brunswick Eruption, team members are excited about this year’s season, especially the rookie members. “I look forward to joining in more upcoming competitions and winning them, overall just being a part of the team,” said Bradley.

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