UCS teams bring the Thunder to annual robotics competition
UCS teams bring the Thunder to annual robotics competition
Posted on 11/22/2019
Beck Teams

Utica Community Schools teams stormed through one of the largest regional robotics competitions in Michigan.

UCS teams earned the first and second place grand champions, eight first place awards in LEGO competitions  and a top finish in a higher level FIRST tournament.

The annual UCS ThunderQuest features teams from across the region competing in what is now three separate competitions: FIRST LEGO League Jr., FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge. Students from each of the district’s high school FIRST teams – the UCS ThunderChickens and Crevolution – are working together to help stage the event.

Results from ThunderQuest for UCS teams include:


The Browning Wreckers earned a first-place award for innovation.

Now in its second year, the early elementary team represented Michigan in the FIRST World Championship in Detroit last April.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. is designed to introduce STEM concepts to kids ages 6 to 10 while exciting them through a brand they know and love − LEGO®.

Guided by adult coaches and FIRST® Core Values, students build models using LEGO software and create Show Me posters to present what they learned. The program focuses on building interest in science, technology, engineering and math through a real-world challenge – to be solved by research, critical thinking, and imagination.

FIRST LEGO League Tournament

Nearly 40 teams from across the region competed the FIRST LEGO League competition for upper elementary and junior high school students.

UCS results include:

Grand Champions

-First Place – BBD Bots from Beck Elementary, Beacon Tree, and Duncan.
-Second Place – Duncan Thunder Monkeys, Duncan Elementary

First Place Honors

-High Scoring Robot – BBD Bots, Beck Elementary, Beacon Tree, and Duncan
Mechanical Design – Smart Bots, Beck Elementary
-Programming – Dynamic Duncan Doers, Duncan Elementary
-Strategy and Innovation – Morgan Stingers, Morgan Elementary
-Gracious Professionalism – Roberts Architects, Roberts Elementary
-Team Spirit – Magestic Moneymakers, Browning Elementary
-Teamwork – Rocket Robots, Roberts Elementary
TQ Playoff – BBD Bots, Beck Elementary, Beacon Tree, and Duncan
Teams Qualifying for State Championship

-BBD Bots, Beck Elementary, Beacon Tree, and Duncan
-Duncan Thunder Monkeys, Duncan Elementary
-Roberts Architects, Morgan Elementary
-Morgan Stingers, Morgan Elementary
-The Masterminds, Switzer Elementary
FIRST Lego Robotics introduces younger students (ages 9-14) to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface. Project-based, hands-on FIRST programs promote coding, programming and engineering in an environment where students work collaboratively to solve a yearly robotics challenge.

FIRST Tech Challenge

The Eppler Robot-TICS, from Eppler Junior High School, placed fourth out of 26 teams competing in this tournament. The team is also a Compass Award Finalist.

FIRST Tech Challenge teams, comprised of students in grades 7-12, are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.