Martian robotics tops at districts

Goodrich Robotics Team 494’s alliance edged out the Lake Orion Robotics alliance for the win at the Lansing District event.

The competition was at Mason High School March 23-25.

“Of the 134 regional and district events across the world, the Lansing event went on record as one of the toughest competitions that FIRST Robotics has held this year with some of the highest scores,” said Pat Major, team coach for the past 15 years. “In the final elimination rounds each alliance won one match which meant a third match was necessary to crown a champion and in a very tough match with a score of 262 to 272, Goodrich captured the crown.”

Forty teams attended the event and Team 70, also from Goodrich, seeded third and finished as quarter-finalist. They also won the Spirit Award sponsored by FCA, an award that has eluded the team from its beginning in 1998. Team 494 won the Quality Award sponsored by Motorola. At competitions earlier this year, both Goodrich teams won the Innovation in Controls Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation and Team 494 also won the Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.

“Our team could not have been more proficient— all the work they put in over the last few months has come together at this event,” said Jay TenBrink, drive coach and lead engineering mentor.

Both Goodrich teams will attend the state championship at Saginaw Valley State University on April 12-15 where 160 teams will compete on four fields to see who will take top honors.

“It has been a very satisfying season, we seem to have hit the nail on the head this year with everything we have done from the game analysis to strategy to robot construction,” added Major.

Goodrich plans to attend the World Championship in St. Louis this year.

Funding robotics teams is very costly, said Major.

“We are needing funds for the bus trip to St. Louis,” he said. “Students are out selling a number of products to help. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated. The team is also seeking someone who works for Ford as they have a program to fund robotics teams, but we need a Ford employee to get the funding.”

Contact Pat Major at or 810-444-9815. A GoFundMe account for Goodrich Robotics at:


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