Sharon Robotics Team Qualifies for State Championship

SHARON, Pa. – The Sharon High School robotics team is heading to the state championship after a recent first-place finish at a qualifying event at Penn State York.

Sharon’s team outpaced 30 teams at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Tech Challenge South Central Pennsylvania Qualifier on Jan. 21 to advance to the Pennsylvania State Championship in March.

Additionally, the Sharon team won the First Place Inspire (Champion’s) Award for best embodying the challenge of the FIRST Tech program. The award recognizes ibeing a strong ambassador for the program and a role model team for others.

The Sharon team began designing and building its competition robot in August. Navigating in a 12-foot-by-12-foot playing field, the robot must be able to run autonomously for 30 seconds, operate driver controlled for two minutes and deliver cones on top of poles of various sizes to score points during a match.

Members of the Sharon High School robotics team. Front row, from left: Naima Allen, Ben Pollock and Ben Fiscus. Back row, from left: Mary Brown, Tony Gaggini, Kayden Moroney, Keegan Widmyer, Kaytlen Moroney, Warren Hackett, Ian Fischer and Matthew Schimp. 

Sharon’s team is divided into subteams – computer aided drawing, mechanical design, programming, business and outreach.

The team, which consists of 11 middle and high school students, will now advance to compete against 36 of the state’s top teamsin March.

The high school team’s victory Jan. 21 came a week after members of the younger Sharon Tiger Techs Robotics Team received the overall Champion’s Award and first place in the Northwest Pennsylvania FIRST LEGO League Robotics Championship while competing against 28 teams at Penn State Behrend in Erie. That team consists of 18 students in grades four through eight.

Both teams are led by Dave Tomko and John Ackley, and the high school team is mentored by alumni Kyle Wareham, Eli Buck and Lucas D’Angelo. The Shenango Valley and Sharon City School District sponsors the teams.

Pictured at top: Members of the Sharon High School robotics team drive their robot during a robotics competition at Penn State York. The members are, from left, Warren Hackett, Ben Pollock, Kayden Moroney and Naima Allen.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.