SHOWN HERE are Laingsburg Robotics team members with the Imagery Award at Standish-Sterling. Red Thunder Robotics was recognized for this award due to the zookeeper drive team uniforms and the “Melman” giraffe theme of their robot.  

(Courtesy Photo)


  Red Thunder Robotics, Team 7166, has qualified for the FIRST in Michigan State Championships, held April 6-8 at Saginaw Valley State University. This will be the team’s first ever appearance at the state tournament.

  621 FIRST teams from Michigan compete twice yearly in district playoffs during a five week stretch to earn district qualification points for the state championships. The top 160 teams, which includes automatic qualifiers by event winners and Impact award winners, attend states to compete for 82 spots in the World Championships in Houston, two weeks after Michigan’s finals.

  Laingsburg competed in a “Week 1” event at Jackson’s Spring Arbor College, placing in a tie for 7th place and earning 30 qualification points (15 from qualifying matches, 10 for alliance  playoffs and 5 for winning the Team Sustainability award. The Team Sustainability Award celebrates and recognizes a team which has developed a sustainable program in order to define, manage and achieve the team’s ongoing objectives. This season, Laingsburg has grown their robotics program from two teams and 16 students to seven teams and more than 60 students. Their projected growth is to add 5-6 more teams for next year.

  In “Week 3” at Standish-Sterling Central High School this past weekend, Red Thunder Robotics started quite strong, winning its first three matches. Overall, they finished 8-4-0 during qualification matches, finishing fifth of 39 teams. 

  During alliance selection they moved up to fourth alliance captain and this event’s team captain Jaylei Kramer, selected Team 3641 (South Lyon’s Flying Toasters) and Team 5229 (Saginaw Heritage Hawkbots) as alliance partners. Red Thunder Robotics lost their first playoff match to the fifth alliance (in a replay due to a field fault) by a score of 121-108. This placed them into the lower bracket of the double-elimination event.

  The team and their robot “Melman” (from Madagascar) kept moving forward, beating alliance 8 and alliance 7 to move into the lower bracket semi-finals. This time, Red Thunder Robotics was able to defeat the fifth alliance, whom they lost to in playoff match one, 108-92. They lost a close match to alliance three in the next round, taking home third place overall and a total of 50 district qualification points (19 from qualifying matches, 13 from alliance selection, 13 from playoff performance and five points for winning the Jack Kamen Imagery Award.

  The Imagery Award in memory of Jack Kamen (FIRST founder Dean Kamen’s father), celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. Red Thunder Robotics was recognized for this award due to the zookeeper drive team uniforms and the “Melman” giraffe theme of their robot.  

  The team is planning a state send-off event for Wednesday, April 5. More details will be posted on their social media channels@RedThunderRobotics#7166, and at their booster-club website, 

  Laingsburg robotics program would like to thank their students, parents, mentors and sponsors for providing us the resources to compete and showcase their skills. Sponsors include: Pro-Mec Engineering Services, Laingsburg Lion Club, Laingsburg Educational Advancement Foundation, Lakeshore Employee Benefits, Shaheen Cadillac, TechSmith, Magna-Dexsys, Advanced Audiology, Baker College of Owosso, Polymershapes, TechSmith, Meiers Lombardin Lemanski Insurance, Alderman’s of Lennon, Daystarr Communications, In Memory of Frank Robinson and John Liskey. 

  Tax-deductible donations can be made to Wolfpack Robotics booster club, a licensed 501c3 organization.

Laingsburg Robotics Zoom Towards State Championships was last modified: March 28th, 2023 by Karen Elford