Hundreds of middle and high school students and their engineered robots arrived on Keystone Oaks’ campus on March 10 to compete in the Western PA Robotics Championships and for the opportunity to showcase their robot’s skills on the international stage. The winning teams will compete in the worldwide competition in Louisville, Kentucky at the end of April. This year's winners were:
- Excellence Award - New Castle Area School District (High School) & Marshall Middle School (North Allegheny School District)
- Tournament Champions - Jersey Shore Area High School, Sarah Heinz House and Forest Hills Area High School
- Design Award - Bermudian Springs High School
- Teamwork Champion Award - Two teams from Pittsburgh Urban Christian School
Students spent months building and fine tuning their robots and qualified to compete in the Robotics Championships either by earning a spot as one of the top six teams in a qualification tournament, or by winning a Design or Excellence Award, which is awarded to teams who demonstrate excellence in robot design through a rigorous documentation process.
The robots competed in a ringmaster challenge, which requires two robots to work together to toss rings onto tripod posts of various heights. There are two additional challenges, one that requires the robot to work autonomously to toss the rings onto the post and another that requires the robot to work under driver control.
The Robotics Championship event was organized by Keystone Oaks High School Technology Education Teacher Jeff Oestreich, the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, and Vex Robotics.