Robotics State Championships at Columbia on March 10

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.

The big Robotics State Championships are only a couple days away! If you have little kids and want to show them robots designed by high school kids in competition -- and this is NOT battle bots, by the way -- then come on over to the Main Gym and the cafeteiras on Sunday!

If you walk through the team "pits" in the cafeterias, you can see teams from all over the State of NJ working on their robots, making adjustments and repairs, and all of these kids are easy to talk to.

In the Main Gym we have 4 competition fields and matches will be continuous from about 10:45AM or so until lunch and then from end of lunch until almost 5:30pm. There will be 48 teams organized into 2 divisions -- "Turnpike" and "Parkway". Each division runs a Division Tournament and the two division championship alliances meet for the State Championship!

Columbia has 3 teams in the competition! Come and cheer them on! 

Out of this competition 10 teams move on to the Detroit "world tournament" in April.

Parking announcements for Sunday, March 10. TWO huge operations on Sunday, March 10 will require a great deal of parking for the staff and attendees:

Matinee Performance of the All-School Musical 2PM

State Championships in Robotics start assembling at 7AM, runs all day.

1) Flagpole Lot and Main Gym Lot are CLOSED for Parking except for Security and Maintenance Staff until 10AM. 

2) After 10AM, only staff for the All-School Musical can park in Flagpole and Main Gym Lots.

3) Maplewood PD has approved NO PARKING UNTIL AFTER 10AM ON STREETS AROUND THE HIGH SCHOOL. This is to make sure our teams from all over NJ understand to go park in the other school parking lots.

4) We urge NO PARKING IN THE FORMER BUS STOP ON VALLEY STREET overnight on Saturday to Sunday. This space will be used for off-loading teams and robots from School Buses. They will start to arrive by 7AM and cars parked overnight simply make life much more difficult for these teams.

5) Residents who park overnight in any of the school parking lots (Flagpole Lot, Main Gym Lot, Valley Street Lot across the street from the Main Gym Lot, Faculty Lot on Parker before the NJT tracks, Student Lot across the street from the Parker Ave Faculty Lot) are to remove their cars NO LATER THAN  6AM ON SUNDAY MORNING, MARCH 10. These lots are needed for these two events and our parking requirements are immense. 

These two events could have north of 1700-1800 people as staff, performers, volunteers, competitors, attendees. These events are the twin culminations of the work of our musical groups at CHS and our tech groups. Sunday is a huge double feature -- Music/Acting/Singing/Dancing in the Auditorium and more of the Big Bang Theory crowd over in the Robotics competition.

Please help and park your cars elsewhere for the day!! Thank you!!!

Did anyone think that maybe it wasn't smart to schedule the championships during the school play?

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