Steamworks: Teamwork For the Win


Written by Oscar Scholin, Journalist

At 5:30 in the morning, 19 teenagers accompanied by parent drivers and three coaches, one of whom our very own Mr. Rubin, began the arduous journey to greatness by driving up to Madera High School in California’s Central Valley to compete in a regional competition. After a 2 and a half hour drive, all 19 exhausted team members arrived at Madera High School at 0800. Inside the pits, or gym converted machine shop, a hub of activity thrived. Teams from all over California congregated at Madera to match their robots. During the practice rounds, the BreakerBots suffered a crushing blow, 75 to 181.  They realized that some of the code on the robot was faulty, and with a little teamwork and elbow grease, the BreakerBots came back, winning the second match 150 to 80. The BreakerBots were the only team whose robot was able to climb the rope during that match. After a quick dinner break at Panda Express, the BreakerBots headed to their hotel and recharged for the qualifying matches the following morning. That next day, the BreakerBots won the first qualifying match, 105 to 49. This win boosted team morale and helped during the second match. During the second qualifying match, the BreakerBots yet again stole the win, 272 to 85, putting the BreakerBots in 1st place! However, a foul, removing many of the needed points to win, caused the BreakerBots to drop to 33rd place. After their loss, the BreakerBots hoped their teamwork and dedication would permit them a win. The game was intense, both alliances each attempting to win. Luckily for the BreakerBots, they won after a close game, 220 to 210, but only by 10 points. The BreakerBots now moved up to 11th, beating the 1st seed! This win enabled the BreakerBots to become the alliance captain of the 8th seed, allying with Surf City Vikings Robotics and Monterey’s Robotics team, the Robodores. After another strenuous race, the BreakerBots tied with the 1st seed alliance, 305 to 305. After the tie breaker, the BreakerBots’ alliance stole the win from the 1st seed alliance, 290 to 285! Following suite, the BreakerBots won the first semifinal 288 to 257. The BreakerBots fought hard in the 2nd heat of the semifinals, but they lost to the 4th seed alliance, scoring 255 to 308. Continuing their previous momentum and recuperating from the last loss, the BreakerBots reached the Finals, scoring 262 to 233. Unfortunately, after an intense 1st Final match, the BreakerBots lost the round to the 2nd seed alliance, 357 to 395. After yet another difficult match, the BreakerBots succumbed to the 2nd seed alliance, 255 to 361, losing the game to the 2nd seed. Although the BreakerBots lost the Finals, for them, Robotics is much more than a competition, it’s a lifestyle. Even though they didn’t win the Madera Regional, the BreakerBots still made it to the World Championships in Houston by being one of the two wildcards, fulfilling a long time desire to compete at the world level. The BreakerBots, throughout its entire history, have never made it to the World level before, proving an outstanding accomplishment.

Ironically, although the BreakerBots made it to World’s, they must garner $20,000 to attend the competition.With your support, the BreakerBots’ well earned accomplishment can come to pass. Please show your support for your local robotics team by donating here.