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February 8, 2014 – Valador Sponsored Robotics Team advances to State Tournament

The Blockheads, a youth Robotics team consisting of 5 Lake Braddock eighth graders, took top honors at the FTC North Central Regional Qualifying Tournament in Locust Grove, VA on February 8th, and will move on to the Virginia State FTC Tournament. The Blockheads were awarded the Inspire Award, FTC’s top honor which is “given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a ‘role-model‘ FTC Team. This team is a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field.” In addition, the Blockheads were part of the 3 team alliance that won first place.

Earlier this year, the Blockheads competed in a Maryland Regional Tournament at the Naval Academy and were Finalists for the Robot Design Award and Semi-Finalists in the overall competition.

The team stood out for several reasons. Their robot was mostly built using student CAD designed parts fabricated on a 3D Printer. Also, the Blockheads were a rookie team who had decided to play up as 8th graders.

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is designed for high school students who want to compete head to head using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete on a 12 X 12’ field in an Alliance format against other teams. Robots are built using a TETRIX® platform that is reusable from year-to-year using a variety of languages. Teams, including Coaches, Mentors, and Volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

Students get to:

  • Design, build, and program robots.
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts.
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills.
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances at tournaments.
  • Earn a place in the World Championship.
  • Qualify for over $11 million in college scholarships.
  • Read more about FTC or contact

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About Valador

Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, Valador, Inc. is a Verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business that delivers powerful solutions for collecting, maintaining, visualizing, and protecting its clients’ information. The company focuses on four key business areas — Modeling and Simulation, Information Assurance, Management Consulting, and Software Engineering. It employs innovative solutions such and the use of 3D immersive visualization to address its clients’ complex challenges, such as decision support, strategic planning, risk management, safety and reliability, assessment of alternatives, and information security.

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