Admin and LHS teachers check out the “Hermes” robot before the competition.

The LHS PantherBots competed in the FIRST in Texas (FiT) Dripping Springs District Event with 31 other teams from across the state of Texas this past weekend. While at the event, the PantherBots played in 12 qualification and 6 elimination round matches earning a final record of 11-7-0. In elimination rounds the PantherBots were part of a three-team alliance that advanced to the finals earning the 2nd Place Finalist trophy and silver medals. The PantherBots will participate in the FiT Ft. Worth District event hosted by Nolan Catholic High School March 17 through 19.

“As the team coach, I could not be more proud of our team. They persevered through eight weeks of late nights and six-day work weeks to pass their classes, and build a machine that is capable of scoring goals, climbing monkey-bars, and an all-around strong and respected competitor on the game field while remaining true to our core value of Gracious Professionalism,” said Robyn Segrest, robotics teacher and PantherBots “mom”.

Thanks to Tish Snyder and her crafting skills, the team quickly became known as the “Tutu Squad” as the drive team and pit crew were decked out in custom black and purple glitter tutus. One of the team members brought glitter, stick-on gems, and bedazzled everyone and everything that she could find including judges, the emcee, and other teams. Thanks to the team’s enthusiasm, the PantherBots were awarded the Team Spirit Award and on multiple occasions other attendees thanked the team for spreading the happiness and “lucky dust” as the team’s glitter came to be called.

“At competition the PantherBots helped other teams make repairs when their machines were broken, showed them how to program vision tracking, and encouraged them in competition game play,” said Mrs. Segrest.

Each Texas team will compete at two district events, based on their performance at their events, teams will earn district ranking points. Once all the district events have been run and total ranking points calculated, the top 83 teams in the state will advance to the FiT District Championship. During the FiT District Championship, teams continue to earn ranking points with the top 23 teams advancing to the FIRST World Championship Event.

The PantherBots are deeply grateful for engineering mentors Chad Robertson, Jeffin James, Dale and Tish Snyder, Matt Millican, and Greg Diemel. They dedicate significant amounts of personal time to the team and are equally invested in the team’s accomplishments.

From left: Beth Tatum, Michael Bourlon, and mentor/manufacturing engineer at Lockheed Martin Jeffin James practice maneuvering “Hermes”.

“We focused our efforts as a team and more importantly, as a robot family. Our rookie team members learned from our veterans and mentors that by working together in spite of our differences, respecting everyone’s individuality, and valuing each other’s unique skill sets, great things are accomplished. It is humbling to be able to coach a group of such amazing young people and one of the greatest adventures of my life,” said Mrs. Segrest.

Students that participated this past weekend include: Anson Adams, Michael Bourlon, Patrick Butler, Krista Butterfras, Raeonna Card, Alanna Carrizales, Jocelyn Castano, Jeremy Culver, Ivan Escobedo, Gilbert Flores, Ashley Galvan, Samuel Gonzaelz-Perez, Lila Knapp, Kassidy Knapp, Halli Kruse, Hector Landero, Gavin Libby, Tatum Loving, Evan McElroy, Kabram Mott, Jason Page, Erik Rodriguez, Yosadira Rodriguez, Adrian Sabani, Beth Tatum, JaNyla Wilkerson and Griffin Willingham.