Team 4 ELEMENT 2020 Los Angeles North Regional Winner!

High Tech LA’s robotics team, Team 4 ELEMENT, has won the 2020 Los Angeles North Regional! This is the first win for our team in 13 years! The 3-day competition took place at Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA. Forty-one other teams from around the world competed in the fast-paced, high scoring event. This regional was attended by multiple world champions, Hall of Fame members, and many other high-caliber teams. Our team’s strong presence was seen throughout the event from volunteering on the field to assisting other teams in the pits. The competition was also attended by two rookie teams, one of whom we started, Valencia Robotics (FRC 8060), from Valencia High School. Valencia won two awards, Highest Rookie Seed and Rookie Inspiration Award. Being a rookie team at such a competitive event is a very daunting experience, but they persevered throughout many difficulties with the help of our students.

The competition was fierce from start to finish. Each day, each match had its ups and downs. We faced many programming and mechanical challenges, but the students kept their spirits up, with encouragement from the many alumni who were present, and took on each challenge head-on with success. By the end of the qualification rounds, we were ranked 19th. Our position was not what we were hoping for but the first ranked team saw how our robot, and team, performed and took notice of the reliability of our machine. This aspect was attractive enough for them to choose us to join their alliance. We took the role of defending, preventing the other high-scoring robots from accomplishing their strategy and we swept through the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The final rounds were not without drama. Our alliance lost the first match. But we adjusted our strategy and fought through the second match with a win. Sadly, that match took a toll on our robot so our alliance decided to call a backup team, RoboNerds, to help. With that, the tiebreaker went in our favor and we won!

Team 4 is incredibly grateful to our alliance members. Our alliance was captained by the defending world champions, The Greybots (FRC 973), from Atascadero. Citrus Circuits (FRC 1678), from Davis, was the first pick and brought an incredible machine to the table. Both these teams play at the highest level and we’re very lucky to have partnered with them. Throughout the competition, we learned a lot from these amazing teams and plan to use their ideas in the future.

Team 4 also won the Imagery Award, in honor of Jack Kamen, Dean Kamen’s father, for his dedication to art and illustration and his devotion to FIRST. This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. Team 4 students take pride in the appearance of our team to be the best representatives of our families, sponsors, supporters, and school. We thank the judges at the LA North Regional for this honor.

Team 4 will be participating in the Ventura Regional on March 20th-22nd at Ventura College. After that, we will be traveling to Houston, TX to compete at the World Championships in April. This is a very exciting time for us and we thank all our supporters who have helped us get to this place.