GIRARD In what Girard FIRST Robotics Team co-adviser Judy Barber described as ''one of the best performances of the season,'' the Robocats reached the division finals at the world championships held this weekend at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis, Mo.
For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology had teams construct a robot this year designed to throw a disc a predictable distance and height into a goal to earn points. The robot also was to climb a pyramid structure and hold itself off the ground earning 10, 20 or 30 points based on how high the robot climbed.
Teams were given the challenge in January and had six weeks to build a robot to complete the task.
Barber said that in the 14 years since the Robocats started they made it to world championship four times, with this being the first time they reached division finals.
''They did an outstanding job. We were very pleased with their performance,'' Barber said, referring to co-adviser Ashraf Hadi and the other coaches.
There were four divisions made up of 100 teams from across the nation.
Girard placed in the top 24 in its division, which allowed the team to compete in the finals. Barber said the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals by a team that finished first runnerup to the division championship.
The Robocats emerged victorious in Cincinnati in March, taking first place at the Queen City Regional robotics tournament, which qualified them for the world championship.
Barber said the team will begin preparing for next year with fundraisers and recruiting events and will also take part at the Special Olympics to be held May 11 at Girard High School stadium.
Also at the event was the Canfield FIRST Robotics team, JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) Club, which earned the ''Rookie Inspirational Award'' but did not advance to the division finals. The Canfield team had previously received the ''Rookie All-Star Award''
Canfield robotics team lead coach Don Crum said Canfield competed as a rookie in Pittsburgh and won ''the two highest rookie awards,'' the ''Rookie Seed Award (14th out of 45) and the ''Rookie All-Star Award,'' which qualified the team for the national championship.