TuTu Turtles Win Highest Rookie Seed Award in First FRC Competition

From March 3-5, the TuTu Turtles (9003) robotics team competed in their inaugural FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) at Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, Va. 
After the qualification rounds they ranked first among all rookie teams and received the Highest Rookie Seed Award. 

“I felt excited,” said team co-captain Marland Bustamante ’23 of the experience. “A little nervous, but mostly just ready for the experience. I hope that this bonds our team and really shows the community that robotics is multi-faceted and really fun.”

Prior to this year, the team competed for a decade in the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC).
While competing in FTC, other teams were from middle schools and high schools and all built relatively small robots (18 inches) to play a game on a relatively small field (12-foot by 12-foot). Competing in the FRC requires teams to design and build a much larger robot of up to 60 inches and 120 lbs, as well as to play on a much larger 25-foot by 50-foot field.

“This is much faster paced, bigger, more people, and a much higher level of excitement,” noted Mr. Dan Waters, who along with Mrs. Molly Thomas and Mr. Eric Ebert serves as a team mentor.

This year’s game, CHARGED UP presented by Haas, inspired teams to see the potential of energy storage in a new light as they competed in alliances to charge up their communities. Teams earned points by piloting their remote-controlled robots to create sustainability links in their grid and to engage with their power station. At the end of the qualification rounds, the TuTu Turtles ranked 19 out of 28 teams, and first among all rookie teams. 

“We’re so proud of what these students accomplish,” said Scott Turnbull, FIRST® Chesapeake executive director. “Not only do they gain technical and engineering skills, but they are also learning critically important life skills such as teamwork and problem solving. With the support of our nearly 3,000 volunteers, we are helping to build tomorrow’s technology leaders.”

The TuTu Turtles will compete next March 24-26 at the CHS District Glen Allen, Va. event.

See pictures from this and other robotics events on the School's SmugMug.
800 Chatham Hall Circle  •  Chatham, VA 24531
+1 434.432.2941  •  admissions@chathamhall.org
Day and boarding school for girls grades 9 -12 in the Episcopal tradition.

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