UCS teams shine at FIRST competition, capture world championship
UCS teams shine at FIRST competition, capture world championship
Posted on 05/03/2019
Composite of three teams - ThunderChickens with banner, Crevolution team member with flag and Browning students and coaches posing with StormtroopersUtica Community Schools continued to engineer top awards in the FIRST ® competition, earning the World Championship and multiple honors at the international tournament this past weekend in Detroit.

“The hard work, talent, and commitment of our robotics students, teachers and business partners are a source of pride for this school district,” Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns said. “Our district was represented at the FIRST championship in Detroit by the ThunderChickens, Crevolution, and in the LEGO League Jr. Tournament by The Browning Elementary Wreckers. This success reflects why Utica Community Schools continues to be recognized as a hotbed for robotics education.” 

More than 3,600 teams with more than 91,000 students and 25,000 mentors from 27 countries took part in FIRST. They competed in 63 Regional Competitions, 85 District Qualifying Competitions, and 10 District Championships.   

FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) creates excitement and interest in robotics by pairing students with business mentors. Teams build a working robot that will compete against others in a competition or sports-like environment. FIRST competitors must follow design specifications and perform the tasks as outlined in the competition. 

This year’s competition had students designing robots that can pick up items—balls and discs—and deliver them into a collection box. 

More than 800 teams won slots to attend the two FIRST Championship events, where they competed in a tournament.


The UCS ThunderChickens earned the world championship for the third time in the programs more than 20-year history. 

The 70-member team was part of an Alliance that included teams from the Netherlands, Brighton, MI and Philadelphia. 

In addition to capturing the World championships, the ThunderChickens were the 2019 Darwin Division Champions at the FIRST ® Competition and the winners of the Marysville District Competition. 

“This program completely changed my life and what I want to do with the rest of my life,” said the program’s CEO, student Emma Fidler. 


Crevolution had its most successful World Championship appearance in team history. 

Crevolution was in the top five teams of a very strong division for most of the tournament. The team ended the qualification rounds in seventh place out of 68 robots and were the 5th seed alliance captain for the elimination round. 

The team competed at four competitions and finished no lower than 8th place in qualifications, a team best. In two of their competitions, Crevolution finished in the top three. Their robot ranked 24th out of 539 teams in Michigan based on points earned at district competitions.

“It was a wildly successful season and Asteria (the Crevolution robot) is by far the best robot our team has made in our history,” said team mentor and teacher Bryan Battaglia. 

Browning Wreckers

Six Utica Community Schools students took on the world in the FIRST ® World Championship. The students represented Michigan in the FIRST ® LEGO League Jr. at the competition. 

The junior level of the competition challenges students to use Lego parts to build a moon base that has a moving piece. Teams must also create a poster that includes core values and resource components.

The Browning Robotic Wreckers won the Programming Award and was nominated for team choice.

This is the initial year a FIRST ® LEGO League Jr. team has been developed in UCS as part of the LEGO League program.