The 2023 Team Choice Awards were presented to Jamaica College and Immaculate Conception High Schools by the N.C.B. Foundation/FTC National Robotics Championships. The awards recognize the best-performing teams at the three-day National Robotics Tournament, which was held on February 24 and 25, 2023. Jamaica College (JC), whose team is also known as the “BlueBots,” was the top team in the FIRST Tech Challenge. “FIRST” or “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.”
The FIRST Tech Challenge was planned and executed by Gavin Samuels, Paul Pounall, and Ricardo Anderson, past students of JC, along with a stellar team. The challenge was held at JC’s Karl Hendrickson auditorium with the participation of more than 20 schools. JC and York Castle each entered two teams for their school. Gavril Williams headed the JC Team 3981, while Joel Henry led the JC Team 6899.
Team 3981, also known as Griffins, and the BlueBots Team 6899 sustained their high positions among qualifiers throughout the entirety of the competition. The Griffins were in first place for most of the first day, while the BlueBots maintained their fourth position. By the end of the second day of competition, the BlueBots had moved into second place, while the Griffins took first.
In the qualifying round, each team played a total of five matches. The leaders of the top four teams were brought up to begin the elimination round. Each team leader selected two other teams to help them win, and the selected teams could accept or decline. The four teams that were at the top were JC Griffins, JC BlueBots, Immaculate Blue Flames, and Campion College. The alliance that won included the BlueBots, Carol Mirgan High School, and Phoenix-Requiem-Glenmuir.
JC Griffins won the Design Award, while the BlueBots won the Inspire Award. The BlueBots also won the Event Challenge Award. JC Griffins also were in the top three teams to receive medals for the Performance Award. Paul Pounall won the Chairman Award.
In a truly historic achievement, the BlueBots became the first team to win both the Event and Inspire Awards. The team has also earned the chance to participate in the World Championships that will be held in Houston, Texas, in April 2023. JC had previously won the Inspire Award in 2019.
Photo – NCB Foundation