MEMBERS OF THE TEAM pose with the Creativity Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation.


MELROSE — Melrose High School’s Red Hawk Robotics (RHR) attended the Bridgewater State University New England FIRST District Event the weekend of March 9 as their first competition of the 2024 season. The team ranked 14th out of 36 teams after a rough set of qualification matches on Saturday and Sunday morning, but was 3rd overall pick for playoff rounds. The team made it through to round 4 of 6 in the playoffs and won the Creativity Award, sponsored by Rockwell Automation. This completes their first event on their journey to return to the World Championships.

Red Hawk Robotics, continuing their World Championship level performance from last year, spent 6 weeks, from January 6 to February 17, designing, building and coding an entire robot from scratch. Over February break, they spent hours redesigning and iterating the entire design after a rough performance at a preseason event. The work paid off at the first official competition of the season, where, despite software bugs and electrical puzzles, the team showed their passion, skill and perseverance. “It’s so amazing how when something went wrong in one match we could fix it quickly for the next match,” said sophomore Violeta Rechea, whose enthusiasm was shared across the team. The Red Hawks were picked in alliance selection as the 3rd pick of the entire event, by team #246, the Lobstah Bots from Boston University Academy and the Match Charter School. The pick was not pure luck; despite their overall ranking, the team was among the top scorers at the event, with the second highest average game pieces scored. Together, along with team 2342, Team Phoenix, from Nashua, NH, the three team alliance made their way through playoffs, until their elimination in round 4/6.

The Red Hawks did not leave Bridgewater without anything to show for their efforts though. In addition to robot performance, throughout the event, students spoke with volunteer judges about the team attributes and design of the robot. The judges deliberated and handed out awards to a select number of teams. The team received the Creativity Award, sponsored by Rockwell Automation, which recognized the “professional approach to the design process” that they used in building the robot, emphasizing the functionality, practicality and refined development of their robot.

Red Hawk Robotics’ performance at BSU is only the beginning of the great successes they will take part in this season and chances are high that Melrose will send the robotics team back to Houston this April for the World Championship. In order to ensure the program can continue to send as many students as possible to this event, regardless of means, please consider donating at