Robotics State Championships at Columbia on March 10 **


The first two posts are also cross-posted in Education 

The US FIRST Robotics organization will sponsor the State Championships at Columbia HS on March 10. There will be 48 teams from all over NJ at the competition which will be held in the Main Gym on four playing fields. Teams will set up in the cafeterias to work on their robots.

Columbia has placed 3 teams into the State Championship competition -- the most of any club/school in NJ. The 3 teams are: #5332 -- our sophomore team; #7959 -- our senior team; and #9563 -- our junior team. [Teams keep their numbers for four years and the numbers reflect how many teams have registered over the years -- now exceeding 18,000 teams worldwide.]

Ten teams will move on from this competition to the Detroit "World Tournament". If one or more of the Columbia teams qualify it will be the 4th time in 9 years that we have moved on to the World Tournament. And by the way, it is very expensive to send a team. In 2017 we sent our senior team (#4102) to St. Louis and it cost well over $10,000. If we qualify, we will be back on this site and others asking for $$ help.

The State Championships at Columbia on March 10 is open to everyone -- no admission charge. Do come by and watch the matches and walk through the cafeterias and talk with teams from all over NJ. You will get a glimpse of the future -- robots, coding, autonomous operations, designing and building a robot to accomplish tasks, teamwork, learning by making mistakes. This is what the world will be for many of our kids -- and learning about it sooner is helpful to them as they go through school, college and life.

And just for kicks, March 10 is also the date of the matinee performance of the All-School Musical. CHS will be hopping with the students in the musical, in stage crew, in the orchestra ... snf robotics! 

Robotics competition on March 10 will commence around 10:30-10:45AM -- a lot of inspections and judging takes place before the robots go at it. Teams will arrive around 7:30AM/8:00AM.


On March 10 the parking situation around Columbia will be "tight". This is what we are proposing for parking for the Robotics Teams arriving around 7AM-8AM and then later in the day the staff/cast/crew for the All School Musical and the attendees for the matinee performance in the Auditorium.

1) We will have Security Guards and parents directing the cars and school buses for Robotics to appropriate drop-off locations in the Flagpole Lot and the Main Gym Lot. All of them will be then directed to exit these lots and avail themselves of spaces in; (a) Faculty Lot across Valley Street next to the building under construction; (b) the Faculty Lot up Parker Avenue, just before the NJT tracks; (c) the Student Lot also up Parker opposite the Faculty Lot. These three lots should be able to accommodate the cars and buses for Robotics. If more space is needed, then the Board of Ed Lot on Academy street and bus parking along Dunnell Road as one gets closer to the Maplewood Train Station.

2) We are considering asking local residents who park overnight in the school lots to remove their cars NO LATER THAN 6AM. The Robotics State Championships and the All-School Musical are HUGE events and we ask local residents to not take spaces needed for these events.

3) We are considering also asking the Maplewood Police Department to post "No Parking until after 10AM" signs on the streets around the high school. If that can happen, then the All-School Musical staff/cast/crew would have the two closest parking lots and all of the local street parking around the high school.

4) We are also considering sending a letter to the construction company building the new apartment building on Valley Street to not leave any construction equipment/trucks in the Valley Street Faculty Lot overnight Saturday. They don't work on Sundays but sometimes equipment could be left from Saturday work to early Monday morning.

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