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Watkins Glen Youth Robotics team qualifies for state championship again

Watkins Glen’s youth robotics team, Mechanical Meltdown, has once again demonstrated its prowess in the field of robotics by qualifying for the prestigious Excelsior Regional Championship for the seventh consecutive year. Since its inception in 2017, the team has consistently risen to the challenge set forth by For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

Each year, starting in early September, FIRST releases a new robotic challenge, prompting teams worldwide to embark on a journey of designing, building, and programming robots. Mechanical Meltdown’s journey this year culminated in an outstanding performance at the Finger Lakes Qualifying Tournament in Penfield, New York, on December 17. Competing against 23 teams, they secured the second rank in preliminary rounds, which paved their way to the championship.

Their success at the tournament was further solidified through strategic alliances with Electric Mayhem White from Buffalo and Nuclear Detonation from Notre Dame in Elmira. Together, they won all four matches in the semi-final and final rounds. In addition to their victories in the arena, Mechanical Meltdown was recognized for its comprehensive documentation of the engineering process, earning them the “Think Award.”

They were also nominated for the “Inspire Award” and “Control Award.” Ranking impressively at number two in the region, number three in the state, and 204th globally out of 4,257 teams, Mechanical Meltdown is set to compete in Buffalo on January 27 and in Corning on February 11. These competitions will serve as a prelude to their final preparations for the championship, scheduled for March 3 at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica.