On October 19th at Southport High School, 31 frisbee-launching and tower-climbing robots from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky came together for the 6th annual CAGE Match. The teams played the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) game, Ultimate Ascent, where high school robotics students built robots that were designed to shoot discs into 9 ft high goals and climb a three-stage, 10ft tall pyramid for points.
Out of the 31 participating teams, two Indiana pre-rookies (teams that will see their first official season in 2014) from Fishers and Columbus took to the field with robots that they built this past summer specifically for the event, or borrowed from a veteran team for the event. “The CAGE Match gives rookie teams and rookie members their first competition experience,” said Mike Taylor, event coordinator. “They learn that other teams are competitors on the field, but friends off of it. They get a real sense of community here.”
Beyond the robots, the CAGE Match event allowed teams to develop the local robotics community. Two roundtable discussions were held, one for adults and one for students, exploring struggles and achievements of area teams, and what members may expect their rookie seasons. Area VEX Robotics teams were able to scrimmage, refine their designs, and prepare for the upcoming Indianapolis City Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 16th and 17th.
Also, teams were able to continue their outreach programs and give back to the local Indianapolis community. Participating teams collected 12,405 items to donate to the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana, and five units of blood were donated to the Indiana Blood Center. A silent auction was held at the event that funded a $1,000 scholarship that was awarded to Center Grove graduating senior Mariah Smith.
The one-day high school FIRST robotics competition event was hosted by the FIRST robotics teams Southport CyberCards and Walker Career Center Digital Goals, with assistance from from Center Grove Red Alert, Kokomo Technokats, McKenzie Career Center Kil-A-Bytes, and Perry Meridian Cyber Blue. A special thank you goes out to event partners AndyMark, Mager Enterprises, Ray Skillman, Sam’s Club, Gordon Food Service, Bimbo, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Kroger, Marsh, Cardinal Insurance, and food trucks Pierogi Love Indy, Taste the Caribbean, and Groovy Guys Fries for sponsoring the sixth annual CAGE Match.
Congratulations to our very own Mariah Smith for winning CageMatch’s scholarship! Our students have won this award two years in a row now, and we are proud to see them succeed.