The Palo Alto High School robotics team ranked 22nd out of 58 teams at the Silicon Valley Regional over Spring Break in its final competition of the school year and is now preparing for next year’s program.
At its previous tournament, the Central Valley Regional, the team placed 44th out of 45 teams. Following the Silicon Valley Regional, the team is happy to have improved its ranking, according to senior co-captain Freddy Kellison-Linn.
“Generally the top 24 is where you want to be,” Kellison-Linn said. “We didn’t get picked for elimination rounds but given how we performed at the previous competition everyone was very happy with how we did and it was a good end to the season.”
Sophomore Claire Kokontis said the team came across a few obstacles, including a part of the robot that was scratching the ball, the object that the robot was meant to shoot into baskets, throughout the competition.
However, it faced fewer problems than it did the last tournament, according to Kokontis.
“For a couple of members it was less stressful for us because there was less to fix so we got more time to just hang out with each other,” Kokontis said.
Kellison-Linn mirrors Kokontis’ sentiments, stating that the Silicon Valley Regional ran significantly smoother than the Central Valley Regional tournament for the team.
“We had an issue in Madera where we couldn’t get the shooter working until the very end, but for this competition we had our shooting working and we did significantly better than we did in Madera,” Kellison-Linn said.
The Paly robotics team is proud that its robot is built almost entirely by students, without much mentor help, according to Kokontis.
“It was really surprising for people at the competition to see this robot that had been mainly built by students,” Kokontis said. “That’s something that makes Paly robotics unique and that’s something that we’re proud of.”
This is the final tournament for the Paly robotics team during this school year, but the team has much in store for the future including a summer camp program, teaching robotics to younger children and getting ready for the Cal Games tournament during the fall.