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  • Chamber and Symphonic Orchestra Concert on May 8th at 7:00pm in the Coronado Auditorium
  • Graduation Rehearsal on Monday, May 20th. Arrive no later than 10:15 at Colorado College Ed Robson Arena, Class of 2024.
  • Clothes Bin is Partnering with Coronado to Recycle Old Clothes in Parking Lot
  • Because of AP Testing, the Library will be closed intermittently until May 24th.
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Cougars Gone Wired: More than Just Robots

A Review of CGW’s 2024 Season
Cougars Gone Wired receiving a sponsorship check at the Colorado Regional.

Coronado’s Robotics team, Team 2996 “Cougars Gone Wired” (CGW), has spent the entirety of this year building a robot to compete in events of FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC). FRC is a global organization which sees teams of high schoolers from all over the world come together each year to build a robot from scratch to play a never-before-seen game, competing against and with each other in the FIRST philosophies of Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism.

January 6, 2024 marked the annual kickoff in a FIRST broadcast that is streamed around the world, in which the game and its manual is revealed. After that point, CGW spent 6 weeks furiously designing, building, and testing a robot to play the game in what is called build season. The team worked Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 and Saturdays from 9 to 4 to build the bot that they named “Audrey II” to play this year’s game, “Crescendo.”

After build season was over, competition season began, where the team traveled to different regional events of FIRST and competed for a chance to qualify for nationals held in Houston, Texas. The team had two competitions they competed in, the Green County Regional, and the Colorado Regional.

The Green County Regional was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma from March 7th to 9th. The CEO of CGW, Julia Tate, Class of 2025, stated that, due to the long distance from Colorado Springs to Tulsa, only a limited number of students was able to attend since the team traveled on a shared charter bus with another FRC team, Team 662. However, during the trip to and from, the Colorado Springs teams made good friendships and connections.

Drive Team members move to put the robot onto the field at the Green County Regional.

Cougars Gone Wired brought their enthusiasm and energy to the event, where the members of the CGW cheered on their drive team as they saw their robot zip across the field. At the end of the event the team ended up seeded 10th, with their alliance placed tied for 7th and 8th as stated by CGW VP of Community Outreach Riley Brown, Class of 2024. However, the team’s goal was not just looking at place in rankings, but more in overall scoring, which had CGW be the 8th highest scoring robot out of 43 teams.

The Colorado Regional was held at the Magness Arena in the Ritchie Center of the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado from March 21st to 23rd. This event is perhaps the largest part of the competition season for CGW, something that the entire build and competition seasons lead up to because of the 10 weeks that the team has had to build and tweak the bot for that year. The Colorado Regional saw 49 teams competing from places all over America and even Team 4010 from Mexico. During this Regional, which CGW has attended for 16 years, Tate stated that it was much more competitive than the Green County Regional, most likely due to that increased time that teams had to refine their designs and practice. By the end of the event, CGW was in the 8th seeded alliance and ended up tying for 5th.

At both competitions, CGW won the Quality Award, “which is exceptionally rare, as FIRST often doesn’t give a team the same award at two different regional competitions in a row,” Tate added. While the team was disappointed that they didn’t make it to Championships, it was able to make the playoffs at both events. In addition, the Impact Award team was able to have two very successful presentations, even if they didn’t earn the award. All in all, competition season was fun for the students, and they enjoyed themselves at both regionals.

The robot at the Denver Regional in the middle of a match.

Now that the competition season is over, Coronado Engineering teacher and Head Coach of CGW, Mr. McLean, shared that the team needs to start preparing for next season, and the team has found that it’s really helpful for the team’s organization if they start student leadership for next season now before the end of school. Since Cougars Gone Wired is a student-run team, all leadership positions are held by student members. When asked about this topic, Mr. McLean stated that “I have always believed one of the great opportunities this team affords its members is the chance to hold a true leadership role with their peers.” He also added that leadership experience is a resume boost for colleges, universities, and most scholarship applications, as well as it gives students the chance to help influence the future of the team. Tate also weighed in that this time is now for preparation for their summer outreach programs, such as the “Making a Difference” MAD Summer Camp or STEAM Nights at D11 Elementary School. There is also the Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament early next school year that the team participates in. The Robotics Club has had an amazing year, and now, as Tate says, “We also have time to reflect on how this season went, and what we want to change going forward.”

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