Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 4/10/23
From April 6-8, the Bionic Black Hawks of Bloomfield Hills High School competed at the Michigan State Championship for FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition), hosted by Saginaw Valley State University. Known in FIRST as Team 2834, the Black Hawks are a Hall of Fame Robotics team in their 15th year in competition. FIRST stands for “For Innovation and Recognition of Science and Technology,” and is an organization that runs robotics tournaments to promote educational engagement in STEM. The event in Saginaw is the regional level championship run by the the FIRST district in Michigan, one of the largest districts in the country. The competition comes after six weeks of events held across the state. The Black Hawks traveled far from home to visit this highly competitive event, which includes the best teams from across the state. Facing a tough match schedule as a part of one of the event’s strongest divisions, the Black Hawks performed admirably despite a number of losses. Posting very high scores in the face of some of the best teams in the state, including former state champions and other Hall of Fame teams, the Black Hawks managed to score a statewide high score during one of their matches. They also made it into the tournament rounds as a first pick, thanks to excellent work by their drive team. The Black Hawks were also very proud to have one of their students, junior Owen Murray, advance as the District Finalist for the Dean’s List award, which is given to a singular team member who goes above and beyond to embody the principles of FIRST. He will go on to compete for the award at the World level. Coming home, the Bionic Black Hawks have some time to rest and repair before their next event, the World Championship, which will take place in Houston from the 18th to the 22nd of April. It will be a busy week, with redesigns planned for the robot and lots of practice for the team’s drivers and presenters. The Black Hawks are a Hall of Fame team, a previous winner of the Inspire award (now known as the Impact award), which designates a team that fully embodies FIRST principles and excellence at the World Championship, granting them an invitation to the championship in following years. The Black Hawks continue to represent the FIRST Hall of Fame along with its other members, including four other teams from Michigan. They are looking forward to attending the event in Houston, the highlight of the season for many of its members.