FCAHS team wins national robotics championship for second year

Fox Chapel Area School District  |  Posted on

A team of Fox Chapel Area High School students was named the national grand champion in the ‘Burgh Bash national invitational tournament, sponsored by the Southwestern PA BotsIQ, a workforce development program by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Foundation. The Fox Chapel Area team was awarded first place in documentation, first place in competition (battle) and was crowned the national grand champion for the second consecutive year.

Senior club president Eduardo Phelan-Vidal designed this year’s 15-pound combat bot, Black Bird. Senior Aiden Purcell helped with the design of the bot. Junior Jackson Hagler and sophomore Benjamin Sun handled the electrical engineering tasks and drove Black Bird during the competition. Additional manufacturing, construction and documentation efforts were handled by team members seniors Ava McCaffrey and Lucy Rygelski; juniors Riley Puklus, Graeson Santucci and Keegan Scanlon; sophomores Jackson Biehl, Krisztian Salvador and Jacob Williams; and freshmen Zhanyu “Eric” Jiang, Mikhail Lukichev, Ayush Patel, Mateo Phelan-Vidal and Georgy Pistsov. The team was advised by teachers Ryan Siniawski and Justin Papariello; parent and engineer Edward Phelan; and its industry partner, Pittsburgh-based Aerotech Inc.

A total of 33 high school and college teams from across the United States participated in the ‘Burgh Bash national invitational tournament. The competition was held May 17 and 18, 2024, at Robert Morris University.

Prior to being named the overall grand champion at the BotsIQ ‘Burgh Bash national invitational tournament, the team participated in the Pennsylvania BotsIQ Finals Competition in April where they were named the overall grand champion.