St. Cecilia Academy News

SCA Robotics Team places second in alliance team championship at FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) regional competition
Posted 02/22/2017 04:03PM

Susan George
Director of Communications
Phone: (615) 298-4525, ext. 331

SCA Robotics Team places second in alliance team championship at FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) regional competition



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2017) — The thirteen members of the St. Cecilia Academy Robotics Team placed second place in the alliance team championship on Saturday, February 4 at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) regional competition at Owensboro Community and Technical College in Kentucky.  FTC teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. 

The St. Cecilia Academy team was the only all-girl team participating in the competition.  The Robotics Team was awarded:

  • First place Think Award
  • Second place Championship Alliance
  • Second place Inspire Award
  • Second place Motivate Award

This is the second time the students have participated in the FTC competition.  As a top contender for all of the awards, the St. Cecilia Academy Robotics Team worked seamlessly as a unit, earning respect from the fellow participants throughout the six rounds of competition including the championship as an alliance team.  

As an inspiration to other teams as well as being gracious competitors through demonstrated success in accomplishing the task of designing and building a robot, the St. Cecilia Academy Robotics Team was awarded Second Place Inspire Award. 

The students especially captivated the judges with the engineering notebook containing figures of the robot using 123D Design on Autodesk for computer-aided design (CAD).  Junior Corinne Gerhold spearheaded the use of CAD and commented, “It was really user friendly and easy to learn; I just had to watch a few YouTube videos, talk with my friend, and experiment to become proficient.”

Ashley George, Physics Instructor and Robotics Coach, revealed that Corinne decided to teach herself the program within a few short weeks because of her personal interest in CAD. With her teammates building the robot and programming in Java for the robot to perform given task, Corinne was able to document the team’s journey of the robot from the original hand drawings to a comprehensive detailed design.  It was this visual process outlined in the notebook that awarded the team First Place Think Award.

“Having a whole team made up of women makes us a team that can problem-solve very quickly," says senior Katie Collins, who has won several awards for her artwork as well as for her work on the Robotics Team. This cross-curriculum collaboration encourages the students to utilize their strengths through all of their studies at St. Cecilia Academy. 

Motivated by their accomplishments this year, the St. Cecilia Academy Robotics Team is hosting a Build-A-BOT Robotics Day on March 11.  Seventh and eighth grade girls from area feeder schools have been invited to participate in hands-on activities through tinkering, building, programming/coding, trial and error, and exploring new ideas and possibilities.  This event was made possible by a Program Development Grant with the Society of Women Engineers through a generous donation from the ExxonMobil Foundation. 


About St. Cecilia Academy
St. Cecilia Academy ennobles young women, equips them to excel, and inspires them to lead lives of integrity. St. Cecilia Academy is a Catholic all-girls college preparatory school that challenges students to grapple with truth in order to become their best selves. Founded in 1860 by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, St. Cecilia Academy is Nashville’s oldest private high school. St. Cecilia Academy has been named to the Top 50 best Catholic high schools in the U.S. list seven times since 2004. SCA is also home to the 2012 TSSAA Division II-A State Volleyball Champions, 2013 TSAA Division II State Long Jump Champion, and the 2012 state forensics poetry champion.


St. Cecilia Academy    |    4210 Harding Pike    |    Nashville, TN 37205    |    (615) 298-4525    |
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