Yeshivat Frisch CouGears Celebrate Impressive Season, Meet With Israeli Team

March 12, 2020

The Frisch CouGears (First Tech Challenge Team 15762) capped off its second competitive robotics season with a strong showing in the league championship. The team made it to the finals of the tournament and was proud of its second-place alliance finish and seventh place overall standing (out of 21 teams).

Not only did the team have to prepare their robot for the competition with a strong mechanical design and reliable code, they produced an over 100-page engineering journal documenting their progress throughout the season. The team presented this as well as spoke about future plans to a panel of judges.

The team was selected as the first choice alliance partner by the second seed team, and went on to win the semifinals before ultimately losing to a strong alliance in the second match of the finals. The CouGears led their alliance, as the only member to participate in all four playoff matches. In addition to their strong on-the-field performance, the judges awarded the CouGears the second place Design Award (recognizing elements of aesthetic as well as function design) and the third place Control Award (recognizing the use of sensors and software to improve robot function during gameplay).

In addition to the judged awards, the CouGears were recognized by fellow teams at the competition for a spirit of gracious professionalism. Throughout the event, the Frisch students were always prepared to help other teams and loan them parts if they experienced a failure.

“The robotics team at Frisch gives me a unique opportunity to learn new engineering skills from other students in an environment outside of the classroom,” said Eliana Bane ’22. “Throughout these competitions, I have learned more about the intricacies of the engineering process and the idea that many different products can accomplish the same task.”

The team is looking forward to continuing its progress by further developing skills in the CIJE Robotics League as well as the Intramural Frisch SumoBot League.

On March 4, not long after the league championship, the CouGears had the exciting opportunity to join Frisch’s engineering track to hear from an Israeli high school robotics team which, in October, won the silver medal at FIRST Global’s international robotics competition in Dubai. The FIRST Israel team visited Frisch, described their journey and demonstrated their robot, staying for dinner and a meet-and-greet. During the meet-and-greet, the Israelis and the Frisch students got into groups and learned more about each other’s work.

“There was this really cool moment,” said Judah Shankman ’23, “when my teammate Oran and I were testing out our VEX robot to make sure it was working for the Israelis, when one of their supervisors and a couple of guys on their team came over and started assessing some problems and asking some questions. They compete on an international level, with a robot that could’ve been designed by a team of NASA roboticists for all I knew, but they still just wanted to know everything about our robot.”

“It was a really meaningful experience meeting with these Israeli students, similar in age to us, who also do robotics,” added Josh Kaplan ’22. “We helped each other. I had a meaningful conversation with one of the members, and we bonded over robotics. We talked about all the issues we had in robotics and how we overcame them.”