Chatham Hall’s robotics team, the TuTu Turtles, competed in its inaugural FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) season and was honored with three different rookie team awards in as many events. Prior to the official season, the team attended the Rumble in the Roads Robotics Competition in Newport News, Va. where it was awarded the inaugural Pre-Rookie Tenacity Award. In February, at their first FRC event in Blacksburg, Va., the team ranked first among all rookie teams and received the Highest Rookie Seed Award. At the Chesapeake District competition in Glen Allen, Va. in March, the team received the Rookie All Star Award while competing against 38 other teams from across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Prior to this year, the team competed for a decade in the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC), in which other teams are from middle schools and high schools and all build 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.