CHS Robotics Team. Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Beckett

By Jeremiah Beckett

The senior CHS Robotics Team made it to the final matches at this year’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Alaska Championship, competing against 22 other teams from across the state. In an exciting round of final matches, the top two alliances split 1-1 with the opposing teams taking the final match and win. This is the first time in six years a Cordova team made it to the state final alliance matches – last year the senior’s team made it to the semi-finals. The matches took place in early February. 

This year CHS has two high school robotics teams: the varsity team with three seniors Dominic Harris, Jacob Hamberger, and Levi Pearson; and the junior varsity team of four from the freshman and sophomores, including Andre Bellufeuille, Michael Harris, Roman Quemado, and Robert Quemado. 

This year’s game theme, FTC Center Stage, consisted of scoring six-sided flat hexagon pixels onto a slanted scoring board, shooting a paper airplane drone, and suspending robots off the playing field. The matches have two robots per alliance team, with four robots in the playing field at a time. A team might be your alliance one match and your competitors in the next, making this a very dynamic competition. Each match starts with a 30 second autonomous round where the robots are preprogrammed to do specific tasks without operators, then there are two minutes of driver-controlled time for additional scoring. 

The CHS seniors got extra support for state from the JV team who helped them with 3D printing, drones, and event prep. The JV team also supported the seniors during the state competition by providing robot pit tuning between matches and team scouting for upcoming matches. 

Leading up to the state competition both Cordova teams competed in a remote regional qualifier, with the seniors clinching third to earn a spot at state and the JV team riding in at fourth. Both teams spent several months working on their robots’ mechanical designs and programming; investing hundreds of hours as a group. Each team member will earn a CHS letter and ½ academic elective credit for this season’s participation. 


All the CHS robotics students have been participating and competing in the competition since grade school, making our current and upcoming teams strong candidates for more awards and competition wins. 

Jeremiah Beckett is part of the CHS Robotics Team.