In March, Blazing Fire, a young robotics team from Tree of Life Christian Preparatory Academy (Fredericksburg, Va.), wowed judges at the Southern Regional Robotics Challenge at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee.
At the competition, Blazing Fire lived out its motto to “Build. Scorch. Conquer!” when they took second place out of 27 teams. These five students, comprised of 4th-8th graders, first came together as a team last November when Alex Prudencio and his wife Porsha began volunteering their time to teach robotics. This incredible team (pictured above) of four young ladies, Sarah Durichek, Mikaela Maloney, Camden Prudencio and Allie Steimer and one young man, Javier Hernandez, come from a small school of less than 40 students.
Blazing Fire was evaluated in four events; finishing first in three and third in one. Their machines had to be designed and able to perform various programs in order to complete complex tasks. When asked how they prepared to compete, one team member said, “It was a lot of hard work, but it was fun experimenting with new missions while programming. When something worked, we did the happy dance.”
Now, the team is working hard to raise funds, through their GoFundMe page, to compete in the North American Division’s Robotics Challenge, taking place May 1 in Sacramento, California. Blazing Fire teammates hope it ends in one more happy dance.