GOD VALUES ARE A WINNER
...the importance of things outside of robotics
A group of Israeli high school students withdrew from the finals of an international robotics competition, so they could observe the
They left a note in their booth at the host venue, in Houston, Texas, USA, explaining that they would not be able to participate further, despite reaching the final stage of an event that attracts thousands of teams from across the world.
“We come from a religious Jewish background and our faith is an integral part of who we are. Saturdays, Shabbat, hold a special significance in the Jewish faith.” Team Trigon 5990, from the Amit High School in Modi’in,
central Israel, wrote in the note.
They also left candles, a Kiddush cup and challah for the traditional Shabbat meal in the booth, together with an Israeli flag.
An announcement that the team had put its religious beliefs ahead of the chance of victory was greeted with widespread applause.
The chairman of the event thanked the team “for reminding us of the importance of things outside of robotics”.
In their note the students wrote: “It
is a time when we disconnect and focus on our spiritual wellbeing, our families, God, and our communities. Because of this, our team will not be present and competing during the remainder of the competition. We encourage you to visit our booth to learn more. We would like to thank FIRST for the opportunity to be here. We congratulate all our peer teams who have made this event so inspiring for us. We wish all teams the very best of luck in the competition.”
The FIRST (For
Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition. In 2022, more than 80,000 students and 25,000 mentors from 26 countries participated.
Each year, teams of high school students, coaches, and mentors, work during a six-week period to build robots that weigh up to 125 pounds (57kg).
The robots complete tasks like scoring balls into goals, hanging on bars, and balancing on beams. The set of
tasks changes annually.