Southeast Announces Winners of FIRST Technology Challenge ‘Relic Recovery’ Competition


Southeast Missouri State University hosted a FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC) robotics competition Jan. 27 with a theme of “FIRST Relic Recovery” with 34 teams of 7th to 12th graders from across the region participating.

The most prestigious judged award is the Inspire Award, which is given to the best overall team that most embodied the challenge of the FTC program. 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. The Inspire Award winner is an inspiration to other teams both on and off the playing field. Working as a unit, this team will have showed success in performing the task of designing and building a robot. The winner is able to move on to the next level of competition at the Missouri State Championship Feb. 24. The winner of the Inspire Award was:

  • Team 3620 – Furious George from Chaffee High School in Chaffee, Missouri

The most recognized part of the competition takes place on 12-foot-by-12-foot fields. Here, four robots compete to earn points in each match with 5 matches total in the elimination round. To determine a champion, alliances are chosen by the top teams, who also serve as alliance captains, and these teams compete until a single alliance remains. The captain of the winning alliance also moves on to the state championship. The winner alliance was:

  • Team Captain: Team 363 – Middle Earth Mechanics from Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Team 406 – Richard’s Fine Men from Parkway South High School in Manchester, Missouri
  • Team 3665 – Leopold Gearheads from Leopold High School in Leopold, Missouri

Teams from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and Leopold, Missouri, drive their robots as referees and judges look on.

The Think Award is given to the team that best reflects the journey taken as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The engineering section of each team’s notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team. The team’s engineering section must focus on the design and build stage of the team’s robot and include descriptions of the underlying science and mathematics of the robot design and game strategies, including designs, redesigns, successes and opportunities for improvement. The Think Award winner was:

  • Team 363 – Middle Earth Mechanics

The Connect Award is given to the team that most connects with their local science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) community. A true FIRST team is more than a sum of its parts, and recognizes that engaging their local STEM community plays an essential part in their success. The recipient of this award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Technology Challenge, and the team itself. The team that wins the Connect Award aggressively seeks and recruits engineers, and explores the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science and technology. This team has a clear business or strategic plan and has identified steps to achieve their goals. The Connect Award winner was:

  • Team 9905 – Rampunzel from Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a team that thinks outside the box, and has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life. This award is given to the team that has the most innovative and creative robot design solution to any specific components in the FTC competition. Elements of this award include elegant design, robustness, and ‘out of the box’ thinking related to design. The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award winner was:

  • Team 7139 – KHS Robotics from Kennett High School in Kennett, Missouri

A robot places a “relic” into its off-field scoring position.

The Design Award recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. This award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution. These design elements could simplify the robot’s appearance by giving it a clean look, be decorative in nature, or otherwise express the creativity of the team. The winning design does not compromise the practical operation of the robot, but complements its purpose. The Design Award winner was:

  • Team 8403 – Kil-O-Bytes from Scott City High School in Scott City, Missouri

The Motivate Award embraces the culture of FIRST and clearly shows what it means to be a team. This award celebrates the team that represents the essence of the FTC competition through team building, team spirit and displayed enthusiasm. This is a team who makes a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school and community, and sparks others to embrace the culture of FIRST. The Motivate Award winner was:

  • Team 3665 – Leopold Gearheads

The Control Award celebrates a team that uses sensors and software to increase the robot’s functionality on the field. This award is given to the team that demonstrates innovative thinking in the control system to solve game challenges such as autonomous operation, improving mechanical systems with intelligent control, or using sensors to achieve better results on the field. The Control Award winner was:

  • Team 406 – Richard’s Fine Men

A special Judge’s Award was given out for gracious professionalism to:

  • Team 12565 – The Blockheads from Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri in St. Louis

Teams from Chaffee, Missouri, and St. Louis, Missouri, celebrate.

Finally, the FIRST Dean’s List is an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of the most outstanding FIRST Technology Challenge students and is sponsored by the Dean Kamen Family. Semi-finalists were nominated by their teams and were interviewed during the competition. The finalists will be chosen at the state championship. The FIRST Dean’s List semi-finalists were:

  • Kevin Colque of Southern Reynolds High School in Ellington, Missouri
  • Jonathan Ezquivel of Southern Reynolds High School
  • Kari Pepple of Chaffee High School
  • Regan Swain of Chaffee High School
  • Sarah Turner of Scott County Central High School in Sikeston, Missouri
  • Ally Miller of Scott County Central High School

Based on the awards above and overall scores within the event, four teams are allowed to advance to the Missouri FTC Championship Feb. 24. These teams were:

  • Team 3620 – Furious George
  • Team 363 – Middle Earth Mechanics
  • Team 3665 – Leopold Gearheads
  • Team 406 – Richard’s Fine Men

A full list of the results are available at

Photos available at: