Steel Hawks compete at Javits

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Written by Joshua Tsai and Christopher Gerbast


The steel Hawks left Queens to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) at the Javits Center. There, they got a hands-on experience of the future of athleticism and engineering by participating in the FIRST Robotics game: Stronghold.

FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” and every year, it devises a new game in which teams from all around the world compete.

In doing so, teams may gain funding for future competitions, win grants for scholarships, and attain recognition for outstanding citizenship.

Along the way, FIRST assesses different qualities of teams and their robots. From engineering to citizenship to spirit, FIRST and its team of judges look at every aspect of a team.

FIRST promotes a very important concept called Gracious Professionalism (GP). GP involves helping other teams compete at their greatest potential because FIRST’s philosophy is that there is no point in playing against a team not playing at their best.

Stronghold, FRC’s newest game, is a medieval-themed competition where robots try and breach defenses, shoot boulders, capture and scale the opponent’s tower.

The game composes of six robots and two alliances of three robots. In order to advance to the elimination rounds, teams must earn as many ranking points (RP) as they can in the qualifiers, aiming for the top eight seeded positions. At the very end of qualifications, the top eight seeded teams select two other teams to join them in their quest for first place.

This year’s competition, held on March 10 at the Javits Center, integrated local teams with ones from around the world, including places such as Turkey, Brazil, Ecuador, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and China.

The THHS Steel Hawks were among those 66 competitors, aiming for the rank of champion. At the end of the qualifiers, the Steel Hawks were seed 19.

However, they were fortunate to be picked by the 6th seed alliance captain (Team 5806) and continue competing for quarterfinals. Unfortunately, the Steel Hawks and their alliance partners The SciBorgs and The Basement Lions were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Although it was a loss for the Steel Hawks, they now have more experience in playing the game. All the mistakes made at the Javits Competition can be corrected when they go to the Hofstra regional at the end of March.