The Lee’s Summit West High School freshman/sophomore robotics team, Team Titanium Tech, captured awards at the Missouri State FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Tournament, held Feb. 24 in Rolla. The team competed with its small robot, known as Flipper.

The LSWHS team seeded first in their division of 24 teams and captained their alliance to win their division, advancing to the tournament finals. Team Titanium Tech won one finals match but lost two, finishing as finalists in the best of three playoffs.

The students overcame tremendous challenges as electrical issues plagued their robot during the tournament, but in the tradition of the FIRST Robotics program, other teams rallied with parts and support to enable them to continue in the competition.

The team also won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award for the most innovative and creative design solution to the game challenge. The Tournament Finalist Award and the Innovate Award are both qualifiers for the next level of competition, the South Super Regional, which will be held March 8-10 in Athens, Ga. Unfortunately this trip will not be possible for the LSWHS team due to scheduling conflicts and funding concerns, but it is a great honor for these team members to qualify, said a team spokesperson.

Eli Cook, who served as a mentor to this team but was not able to make the trip, was one of four Missouri students recognized as a FIRST FTC Dean’s List finalist. He will complete at the South World Championships in April in Houston for the FIRST Dean’s List Award.

Other team members include Logan Dietz, Alex Fitzmauric, Nina Martinez-Alvarez, Garrett Packer, Nikola Radinovic, Laura Rater, John Rose, Ian Shipley, Grace Wetmore and Josh Wood.