RoboPandas Rock Regionals!


Vivek Mirchandani, Senior Staff Writer

This past Saturday, April 24th, 2021, the district robotics team, known as the Sewanhaka RoboPandas, competed in their FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Championships. The team has run a remote season since September and competed in events from the Sewanhaka classroom of their advisor, Mr. Chen. This season has been unlike any other for a multitude of reasons, and the RoboPandas are proud of the accomplishments they achieved during the untraditional season titled “Ultimate Goal!”

At the beginning of the school year, the team worked around the obstacle of distanced learning and limited in-person classroom time by establishing a Discord server and a Google Jamboard series to streamline communication and facilitate their robot design process. FPM seniors Sukhsimran Singh and Vivek Mirchandani along with NHP senior Jada Seto each led a “subteam” within the overarching group, designed to separately design and fabricate a component of their robot, which would be assembled at a later date. In early November, the team began meeting in the classroom, masked up and at limited capacity as per district guidelines.

During the eight-month-long season, the RoboPandas build an 18″ robot from scratch to compete with other high school teams across Long Island.











While building their robot, the team faced numerous challenges such as working with students who were signed into meetings remotely, and being unable to establish connections with professional engineers as they would do in a normal year. By undertaking unorthodox methods and using Zoom to stay connected, the team was able to perform a successful season and qualify for FTC World Championships. In a traditional year, World Championships would be held in Detroit, Michigan, but unfortunately, the event has been foregone this year.

However, the team is not lacking in impressive achievements. At their first Qualifying Tournament, the RoboPandas qualified for Long Island Championships with the all-encompassing Inspire Award, as well as the 2nd Place Think Award, 3rd Place Connect Award, 2nd Place Innovate Award, 2nd Place Control Award, and 3rd Place Motivate Award, along with placing 3rd in Robot Performance. At their second Qualifying Tournament, the team received the First Place Think Award, Second Place Innovate Award, and placed first in Robot Performance.

The club’s seniors Vivek Mirchandani, Sukhsimran Singh, and Jada Seto pose with their advisor Jack Chen at the students’ final FIRST Robotics event.


Finally, at Long Island Championships, the team won the Second Place Inspire Award, Third Place Connect Award, Third Place Promote Award, Second Place Compass Award, First Place Control Award, and placed second on Long Island for Robot Performance. FPM senior Sukhsimran comments, “While we didn’t get the chance to go to Worlds, we hope that those that now carry the torch will go win for us next year.” We look forward to seeing what you have planned next, RoboPandas!