Robotics club takes on Worlds 


Photo courtesy Julia Mikaelian

Fuquay Varina High School Robotics Team compete at the FRC World Championship in Houston, Texas. They were one of only 25 teams to earn a spot in this national competition.

Olivia Del Pinal, Staff Writer

After earning a Rookie All-Star award at NC Districts, Fuquay-Varina High School’s Robotics Team went on to compete at the FRC World Championship in Houston, Texas. They were one of only 25 teams to earn a spot in this national competition.

The 2022 FRC World Championship is the final competition of the season where elementary to university level students unite in person and remotely to compete. The competitors showcase their game strategy, design, and teamwork skills to determine who will be announced champions. 

“It was an amazing honor to compete in the FRC World Championships,” said advisor Norman Dion. “Even though we had some difficulty getting to Houston, our students never lost focus or enthusiasm. Our robot performed well and the energy that earned us the statewide Rookie All-Star award was only magnified.”

 SLICE, the robotics team was a major advocate for other North Carolina teams. They were ambassadors to teams from around the world, and selfless fans of the competition. While at the competition, the team learned a lot about robots, made lasting friendships in several countries, and provided unending support for other teams. 

“My experience at Worlds was amazing,” said Julia Mikaelian. “Being in a convention center full of the best teams in the world was truly an amazing experience. Countries from all over the world were there, and a lot of us made friends with those teams. I made friends with kids from Israel and quite a few friends from Mexico.” 

SLICE had a significant win at world’s, Safety Captain Rachel Ward, won the Safety All-Star award for her division. Ward was the best model of safety out of all teams at the competition. 

The Safety All-Star award is given to the safety captain with the most votes for safety all-star from other safety captains by a set time in the competition; it varies from competition to competition. The safety captains network and discuss safety protocols they have in place on their team, which is what the other safety captains base their vote on as well as observations while walking in the pits.

“This award means a lot to me because it is not common for a rookie team’s safety captain to win Safety All-Star especially on the world stage,” said Rachel Stokes. “Being voted into being the safety captain for the team right before our first competition makes the award mean so much more because it shows that my teammates saw the qualities in me to fulfill the role.” 

Although they left this event without another Rookie All-Star award, a judge sought out Dion to tell him how well the SLICE students performed in the interviews, how much he was impressed with their message, and that they were very close to winning the award. 

As this school year comes to an end, SLICE hopes to continue and grow their success in the 2022-23 school year.