Robotics team wins Judges' Award at Monterey Bay competition

Santa Catalina School’s robotics team took home a special prize at the FIRST Robotics Monterey Bay Regional competition.

Nuns-N-Bolts received the Judges’ Award for their grit and determination throughout the contest. The award is not always bestowed, but during competition the judging panel “may decide that a team’s unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merit recognition” outside of the existing categories.

During the three-day competition at Seaside High School, the team grappled with mechanical and coding challenges yet still made it into the arena for all 11 matches. With a strong start and solid driving, Nuns-N-Bolts stayed competitive until the end and was selected as an alternate for the playoff rounds. “The judges would like to recognize a team that could have rolled over but had the faith and the bolts to get it together in the face of adversity,” according to the panel.

Faculty mentor Steve Nixon said, “Since January, these young women have worked tirelessly after school and on weekends to build their robot for competition. I am incredibly proud of them.” While noting that each team member was integral to the process, Mr. Nixon specifically praised the driving of Maria ’23 and the behind-the-scenes work of Reena ’23, Suhana ’26, and Yunah ’26 in keeping the robot on the field.

This year’s competition, Charged Up, used the theme of sustainable energy. Three-team alliances earned points for delivering cubes and cones to specified spots in their grid and for docking their robots on a charging station. Thirty-six teams competed.

Check out Nuns-N-Bolts’ team page for videos of their matches.

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