ORHS Robotics Wins Excellence in Engineering Award at FIRST FRC Robotics Competition

A photo of the Oyster River High School Robotics team students taken at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center. Students in the first row are kneeling next to the team's robot and two rows of students stand behind them. All students are weari

Oyster River Overdrive, representing Oyster River High School, won the Excellence in Engineering award at the recent FIRST FRC robotics competition.

Superintendent James Morse and Principal Rebecca Noe wish to congratulate the Oyster River High School robotics team for winning the Excellence in Engineering award at the recent FIRST FRC robotics competition.

The event was held on March 24-26 at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center Arena in Durham. The team competed against 40 other teams from across New England.

The Excellence in Engineering award is given to the team that demonstrates the best engineering design and execution. Oyster River Overdrive was awarded the prize for their rigorous application of the engineering design process, innovative robot design, creativity, and collaboration of the team.

“Winning this award is a testament to our passion and dedication to the engineering process,” said Saketh Kantipudi, student team lead. “It feels great to be recognized for our hard work and understanding of design."
Oyster River Overdrive is made up of 33 high school students from Durham, Lee, Madbury, and Barrington. The team is divided into several disciplines including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer programming, strategy, and business.

Starting in the fall of 2022, the students organized team structures, improved their skills, and established their design process. After FIRST announced this year’s challenges in January, team members worked diligently to design, build, and code a robot for this year’s competition challenges.

In the last year, the team invested significant time in a new partnership with the University of New Hampshire Olson Center for Advanced Manufacturing. The students learned CAD (computer-aided design) and advanced fabrication techniques that helped them build a custom robot and advance their engineering skills.

“Our team is relatively new compared to others – we’re participating in just our second competition season,” said team mentor Michael Hawley. “The students were mostly self-directed and motivated to improve from their first year. To see all their efforts pay off so quickly and be recognized by the FIRST judges was very rewarding, and a sign of great forward momentum for the team.”

Oyster River Overdrive is sponsored by Turbocam, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the UNH Interoperability Lab, NextEra Energy, Arthur Thomas Properties, Lenk Orthodontics, and several private foundations.

“Team Overdrive, our high school’s FIRST Robotics team, has worked exceptionally hard this year to manufacture, organize, program, and implement their robotic strategy for competition,” said Principal Noe. “I am impressed with their vision and drive and am extremely proud of them for their commitment to each other. I am also grateful we have adults like Michael Hawley involved in the program to mentor our students. They have done an amazing job this season.”

FIRST FRC (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a robotics competition for high school students. Students design, build, and program robots that can compete in a series of challenges. FIRST FRC is designed to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.