ND Robotics Season Begins

By Cerisa ’26 and Clarina ’27

From Thursday, February 29 to Sunday, March 3, The Janksters attended their first competition of the season, the Silicon Valley Regional (SVR), at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. This marked their 19th year competing at this regional. It was also the team's first time competing in a Week 1 competition, which required building and programming a robot in just six weeks. The competition showcased the team's hard work and dedication to their robot, Rosa!

On Thursday, a group of students set up the pits, an area containing essential equipment, backup mechanisms, and judging material for the upcoming three days. Their competition robot, Rosa, was also brought in. They returned on Friday to participate in practice matches, troubleshoot robot functions, and make quick mechanical adjustments.

The Janksters started their first day of competition on Saturday. Full of enthusiasm and team spirit, they prepared Rosa for her first qualifying matches. Each student played a crucial role in Rosa's success. Scouters in the stands collected data about other robots to help the drive team strategize. The pit crew worked efficiently to make essential fixes between matches so Rosa could perform at her best. They also conversed with judges about various aspects of the team, showcasing the strategic design behind the robot, team culture, and outreach. 

On their second day of competition, Rosa climbed the ranks as her performance improved throughout each qualifying match. During the "serpentine" alliance selection process, the Janksters joined the seventh seeded alliance with Team 1868, Space Cookies, and Team 1351, TKO, for the elimination rounds. In the first round, they won against the second seeded alliance, demonstrating their strengths and talents. When Rosa's intake broke during the second elimination match, the drive team was able to quickly adapt their strategy and play an excellent defense. Right after the match ended, the pit crew worked quickly to attach a spare intake mechanism. The Janksters had an impressive run until the third elimination rounds against the eighth seeded alliance, and finished with their alliance tied for 5th place.

At the end of the day, the team gathered at the awards ceremony where they were presented with the Team Spirit award, which celebrates extraordinary enthusiasm for STEM both on and off the competition field. Additionally, Miriam '25 was selected as a Dean's List Award Finalist, an award that celebrates and recognizes individuals for their exceptional dedication and contributions to their team. As her name was announced, all Janksters cheered her on as she made her way to receive the award. She said, “I’m super grateful to have won, and I’m really happy that my efforts to spread STEM to my local community through FLL has been recognized.”

Through the various opportunities and experiences provided by this competition, The Janksters shined at their first regional of the season. However, the work has only just begun. The team is now preparing for their second competition at the Orange County Regional down in Southern California and are working hard to ensure that Rosa is ready to compete. Go Janksters!

The Janksters

Jankster's Pit

Jankster's Spirit Award

Miriam '25, Dean's List Award Finalist