Center Grove-based robotics team wins at district competition

FIRST Robotics Team 1741 Red Alert Robotics based in Center Grove High School won the prestigious “Chairman’s Award” at the Bloomington, Ind. district competition on Saturday, March 7.  This award “honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.”

Since Jan. 4, FIRST Team 1741 Red Alert Robotics has been working on a robot to compete in this year’s game, “Infinite Recharge.SM.” The team also did well in the robot competition by finishing the qualification matches as the seventh-ranked alliance captain out of 32 teams. Red Alert Robotics is in their 15th year of competition. This is their sixth chairman’s award. By winning “the most prestigious award” given by FIRST, Red Alert has automatically qualified for the State Championship at Lafayette Jefferson High School, where they will compete against 31 other teams for a chance to qualify for the FIRST Championships in Detroit.

Red Alert Robotics, in their 15th year of competition, won their sixth chairman’s award. (Submitted photo)

Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, the FIRST Robotics Competition is the ultimate “sport for the mind.” High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Students ages 14-18 get to work alongside professional engineers, build and compete with a robot of their own design, learn and use sophisticated hardware and software, develop design, project management, programming teamwork and strategic thinking skills, earn a place in the World Championships and qualify for more than $30 million in college scholarships.

Under strict rules, limited resources and an intense six-week time limit, teams consisting of 15-60 students, one to two coaches and three to 10 volunteer mentors are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.

For more information, email Nathan Coulombe at