Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 3/27/23
On March 17, the Bionic Black Hawks of Bloomfield Hills High School won their First Robotics Competition (FRC) district qualifier event in Traverse City. 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 Traverse City was one of many district level qualifying events run by the the FIRST district in Michigan, one of the largest districts in the country. The competition was one of five competitions in Michigan’s third week of competition across the state. The Black Hawks traveled far from home to visit a competition in the same place as their first event 15 years ago. After a few losses early in the event, they went on to win nine straight matches, finishing qualifying rounds with a 10-2 record. After an early loss in the first round of the tournament, the Black Hawks rallied and went undefeated, making it into the finals, where a win and a loss sent them to a nail-biting round three. With a finish right down to the wire, and some expert piloting from the drive team, the Black Hawks clinched the final in a 131-99 win. The Black Hawks were the captain of the second seed alliance, a group of three teams picked by the captain to work together for the tournament rounds, and went home with first place medals and a blue event banner. In addition to success on the playing field, the Bionic Black Hawks also won the event’s award for Excellence in Engineering, given at each event to teams that exemplify industrial design, prototyping, advanced materials, and careful design in their robot. The Black Hawks were also proud to have one of their students, junior Owen Murray, advance as a District Semi-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. Coming home to celebrate, the Bionic Black Hawks have some time to rest and repair before their next event, the Michigan State Championship, which will take place in Saginaw from the 6th to the 8th of April. 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. They are looking forward to attending the State Championship, and the World Championship event that follows soon after in Houston, Texas.