The East Jackson Robotics team left Wednesday afternoon for the State Robotics Championships at Saginaw Valley State University this weekend.
This is their fifth trip to the State Championships; which led to a World Finals appearance in 2016. East Jackson science teacher and robotics coach Chris Galicki was proud of their path to the finals.“Everything just came together. The kids came together, the robot was working good. We ended in the finals. We ended up second ranked after qualification.”
“We breezed through quarterfinals, had a pretty tough semis, we had to go to a tiebreaker. We had some friends on the other side of us that we were going against so that was pretty fun,” Galicki said.
There will be five total teams including the East Jackson team. The BlueOps are joined by Jackson Area Career Center (Jacktown Vectors), Concord (Full Metal Jackets), Columbia Central (Golden Gears), and Michigan Center (MC Hammers).
First Robotics Competition teams have exploded in number of the last decade. Galicki explains, “We (East Jackson) started in 2012, the Career Center started 2 years before that. Our first year there were 167 teams in the state. This year the state of Michigan has 542 first robotics competition teams. It’s gone crazy. The State of Michigan has helped out with some grant opportunities to start teams. That’s really helped a lot. It’s grown exponential.”