Madera High School’s MadTown Robotics is a world winning program. It took a thrilling third game tie breaker to see the magnificent 1323 machine, and its high school student builders, masterfully take the world championship title at the end of an energetic competition, in Houston, TX, on Saturday April 20, 2019. The win crowned an amazing run for the best high school robotics team in the world, with the astounding overall 2019 record of 51-5-0! A winning coalition of three California teams: Madera, Atascadero, and Burlingame, dominated the competition.
Many years in the making, the MadTown Robotics program stuck to the plan of aiming for excellence, gaining competency, and passing on accumulated knowledge and dedication to its next members, year after year, shooting for the ultimate title it admirably acquired this year. The fledgling program was launched in 2003 and, eventually incorporated into MUSD’s CTE program, driven by many individuals, including the team’s celebrated and dedicated leader Ranjit Chalal. “RC” has been on the team since its inception, 16 years ago, and current 1323 Robotics instructor Vernon Valmonte made sure to let me know how critical RC’s contribution has been in the rise of the 1323 machine. Support for the program extends well beyond its instructors, students, mentors, advisors, and parents; the 1323 team success also comes from countless hours of hard work, often stretching into the night.
Local restaurants have generously, and consistently, contributed food to the team as the students designed, manufactured, tested, tweaked, tested, and tested again, night after night. Local businesses have also made donations and members of the Madera community have raised money, most recently via GoFundMe, to help defray some of the 1323 team’s travel costs to the Houston event. The annual international four-day FIRST championship began in 1992, with 20 teams. Today, about 7,500 teams from 3,800 high schools in 28 countries compete every year, hoping to join the top 400 competitors at the world championship event. MadTown Robotics’ 1323 is the little machine that could: championship finalists in 2015-2017, Madera ranked top 25 in 2017, won division championships in 2018, ranking third in the world, and, this year, proudly brought home the top prize.
Team Members: John Akana, Victor Alcantara, Vanessa Ayala, Rajan Bains, Isaac Duarte-Villa, Angel Garcia, Gabriel Garcia, Richard Godinez, Samantha Larsen, Juan Ordaz, Audrey Perez, Yuvraj Sekhon, Alex Silva, Brandon Springsteadah, Bailey Vasquez, Roger Villagomez, Audrey Perez