Categorized | Academics, Technology

Isaac Reed Helps His Robotics Team Reach State Finals

Isaac Reed is a standout in many ways. The 6-4″ junior makes his presence known wherever he is, whether in athletics or in the classroom, but his participation on a unique First Michigan “team” event is raising his profile even higher.

Isaac is a member of The Riviters 1481 in the First Robotics Competition, helping his team reach the state championships next week in Grand Rapids. Isaac and his group were required to build a robot that completes assigned tasks. Each team progresses through a series of stages. The ultimate objective is to advance to the state finals, and if successful, to the national championships, this year in St. Louis.

The events are held over a series of days, including one for setup and two for qualification matches, semi-finals and finals. In the finals, teams form an alliance with another team to gain enough points to “defeat” their opponents.

Each year has a theme and this year’s event is called FIRST STRONGHOLD, in which two alliances of three robots each try to capture a tower by breaching their opponents’ defenses.┬áIsaac’s group, comprised mostly of students from Farmington Hills Mercy High School, built a breeching robot.

The program allows students to get immersed in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers.

Growing in popularity, the 2016 First Robotics Competition includes more than 78,000 students on over 3,000 teams from as many as 24 countries. According to its website, First Michigan boasts the highest number of high school robotics teams (410) of any state in the country, and expanded its tournament schedule to 21 district competitions. The number of teams qualifying for the state championship increased from 64 last year to 102 this year.

Isaac’s team began with a match at Southfield and continued up the ladder with a victory in Livonia, leading to the next level in Grand Rapids.

The experience is ideal for Isaac in his pursuit of a career in engineering. “I knew I needed to join a robotics team to help me on my path,” he said.

Isaac enjoys being involved with First Robotics. “This is my second year, and this competition is only for high school students. I like the sense of family and teamwork I have with my teammates.”