Some students in Irving brought something good back with them from a competition in Houston: a world championship victory!
Fusion Corps (FR 6672), the robotics team from Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving, won the 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition world championship as part of a four-team alliance.
Fusion was the only Texas team represented among the winning alliances at the competition where more than 37,000 fans watched and cheered on their favorite teams.
"We couldn't be more proud of the dedication and hard work of our robotics team members and mentors, which resulted in the first-ever world championship for our school," said Father Paul McCormick, Cistercian headmaster in an email sent to NBC5. "This year's robot was named Resilience, a perfect moniker given the number of challenges it overcame throughout the season to achieve this outstanding result."
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"Our team and robot overcame a lot this season, including a parts failure that required the use of a pencil as a key part during one tournament, and a computer that blanked out in our final qualification match at worlds," said Father Mark Ripperger, robotics school liaison and science teacher. "However, the team lived up to the robot's name, Resilience, and persevered when it looked like our season might end. We were honored to be selected for such a strong playoff alliance and enjoyed the relationships built in pursuit of the world championship."
Hundreds of high school teams from 43 U.S. states and 12 countries were invited to the FIRST Robotics World Championship last month.
It was the final event in a competition that kicks off in January when instructions are sent to high schools across the globe. Each team builds an industrial-sized working robot under strict rules and limited time and resources.
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They then put the robot to the test against like-minded competitors.
"Being at Worlds was amazing," said Nathan Comeaux, a senior and the business captain on the team. "I made friends with kids from Michigan to Hawaii to Israel to Mexico! Winning Worlds is what every kid in FRC around the globe dreams about. As such a young team with limited resources, it's an amazing testament to the hundreds of hours our team has put into the program. We could not have done it without the support of our amazing fans and sponsors!"
Comeaux's partners on the winning team included Ryan Jackson, junior and co-engineering captain; Blake Harris, senior and co-engineering captain; James Novinski, sophomore and team driver; and Andrew Oliver, junior and programming captain.
"This year was by far the most complex robot we have ever built, with a swerve drive, a passive climb, and an auto-aiming shooter," Oliver said. "We showed ourselves what can be done when you put your heart and mind into something you enjoy."