Our FIRST Robotics Competition team, Team 1671 “The Buchanan Bird Brains” wrapped up their regional competitions this month with great success. At the Central Valley Regional in Madera the Bird Brains made it to the quarterfinals. They won the “Innovation in Control Award” for their sophisticated programming, and Sophia Brodish was recognized as a Dean’s List Finalist, the highest award an individual student can win at a regional competition. We have high hopes that she will become a Dean’s List Winner at the World Championship. Two weeks later, and with a much improved robot, the Bird Brains competed in the Sacramento Regional and were much more competitive. We made it to the semifinals, and our alliance put up the highest scoring match in the competition. The end of our regional season ended with the best possible news. Our team was awarded the Regional Chairman’s Award. This is a big deal! The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award at FIRST. It honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become scientists, engineers, and technologists. The Bird Brains have won the Chairman’s Award three out of the last four years. The Chairman’s Award means that the Bird Brains have qualified for the World Championship in Houston, Texas and will compete for World Chairman’s Award and become a Hall of Fame team. These kids have worked incredibly hard and we are so proud of their accomplishments! Go Buchanan Bird Brains!