Clark Magnet High School's robotics team won the FIRST Robotics Los Angeles regional competition last weekend in Long Beach, beating out 59 teams.
"The competition was fierce and intense, but the students did an amazing job," said David Black, Clark's FIRST robotics coordinator.
Competing at that level "has been a long time in the making," he added. The regional win is the first for Team 696 in a decade, and the second regional victory in the team's history.
During the event, Clark's robot had to complete three objectives: launch Wiffle balls, place plastic gears onto a peg and climb a rope, Black said.
Made up of 31 students, Team 696 consists of a mix of new students and student leaders who have been part of the group for four years.
Leading up to the regional competition, the team was undefeated through nine qualification rounds and during the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals and the finals, the team won two of three matches, Black said.
In addition to a well-built robot, Black also credits the team's success to new scheduling this year at Clark Magnet, which allowed Team 696 members to work on their robot during class time in addition to after school.
"The new scheduling coupled with increased sponsor support, strong student leadership and our continuous growth of the advanced manufacturing capabilities here on the Clark campus have all allowed Team 696 to pull off the regional event win this season," Black said.
Later this month, the team will head to Houston, Texas, for the FIRST Robotics world championships.