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Atomic Gears win Inspire Award

Elisabeth Slay
The Gordon Cooper Technology Center Atomic Gears won the Inspire Award at the 11th annual FIRST Tech Challenge (FTR) Robotics statewide championship.

The Gordon Cooper Technology Center (GCTC) robotics team, Atomic Gears, won the first place Inspire Award and placed seventh out of 40 teams in the 11th annual FIRST Tech Challenge (FTR) Robotics statewide championship with their robot, Wraith. On Saturday, Feb. 22, at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford.

According to Cindy White, Atomic Gears photographer and social media mentor, the team was picked by the third-place alliance captain and eliminated in the semifinal matches, but will still compete in the international competition in Houston April 13-18.

"Atomic Gears would like to thank their mentors. Team mentor Thomas White and alumni Baylor Edwards and Brady Barlow this team could not design, build or program without the help of these engineers," White said.

The photographer explained the Inspire Award is given to the team who best embodies both the skills of building the robot and the skills of outreach and other business aspects.

"This judged award is given to the team that best embodies the ‘challenge’ of the FIRST Tech Challenge program," White said. "The Team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model FIRST Team. This Team is a top contender for many other judged awards and is a gracious competitor."

In addition to receiving the Inspire Award, White said she as the team photographer and social media mentor won the Compass Award.

"The Compass Award recognizes an adult coach or mentor who has given outstanding guidance and support to a team throughout the year and demonstrates to the Team what it means to be a Gracious Professional," White said.

Along with the Atomic Gears, White said the North Rock Creek Robotics Team Absolute Zero also competed and placed in the competition.

"Absolute Zero finished in ninth place in qualification matches. This is such a great accomplishment for a first-year team. This is a great start for NRC's new high school STEM class," White said. "They have worked closely with the Atomic Gears to get help with programming, building and brainstorming. This team is bound for greatness if this year is an indication of how they do in the future."

The Atomic Gears will post updates and more information on their Facebook page and Twitter.

Check back for updates.