The 4C Commodores Qualify for 2019 FIRST Robotics Championship

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Friday, April 12th, 2019

The Commodore Conyers College and Career Academy (4C Academy) robotics team, The Commodores, is preparing for the 2019 FIRST Championship to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas next week, April 17th-20th. This world-level qualification follows the team’s exceptional 2019 competition season in which The Commodores garnered an overall 9th place finish out of 87 Georgia-based teams.

Founded in 1989, FIRST is a not-for-profit designed to inspire young people’s interest in participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. Each year, robotics teams from across the globe compete for the opportunity to qualify for the FIRST Championship game. This year’s theme, Destination; Deep Space, challenged participating teams to build robots capable of carrying “cargo”, and climbing back on their “spaceships”.

The Commodore’s coach, Darren Haglar explained, “Last year, we were named Georgia’s Rookie All-star team, which automatically qualified us for the Championship game in Texas. Going into the season, we knew the only way to get back to Houston would be to win based on robotic performance. As a second-year team, we are competing against teams that have been around for a long time with much more experience, and budget, than our team.  But we worked hard during the build season and our robot and our team performed very well at both of the district qualifying events as well as the State Championship event.”

Chris Hatcher, 4C Academy CEO, also commented on the announcement, “I am very proud of our robotics team members – they have worked incredibly hard this year!  It is very challenging for any team to earn a spot to the World competition and represent the state of Georgia, especially as a 2nd-year team. It’s a huge accomplishment.   

I am also very excited about the overall direction of the robotics program in the Albany area.  We have a great group of mentors, great coaches, strong community support and a state-of-the-art facility that all area teams can take advantage of.  This is important to our region because robotics teaches many of the skills required for success - skills like problem-solving, teamwork, critical thinking and work ethic – and it allows students to develop these skills while having fun and competing.  This is a winning combination that is preparing our young folks for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

At the FIRST Championship approximately 600 teams, over 15,000 students and 40,000 attendees from 70 plus countries will compete, learn, and inspire one another to continue in the STEM fields. Mr. Hatcher continued, “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for many of our students. The cost of this trip is significant, however we are certain the benefits of this experience far outweigh the costs. We are working quickly to secure additional funding through sponsorships and donations from our community.”