PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — Penfield High School’s robotics team won big Saturday at the world championships in Houston, Texas. 

FRC Team 1511, Rolling Thunder qualified for the big competition by winning the Chairman’s award at a qualifying event a few weeks ago. That award is the most prestigious one there is in the program, meaning they are a model team. On Saturday, the team from Penfield was one of six Chairman’s teams in the world to be named a finalist. News 8 spoke to the team leading up to the competition. Their lead mentor Larry Lewis explained the team is more than just robots. 

“This is a safe haven for a lot of different students from a lot of different backgrounds,” Lewis said, “We’re home to a lot of kids that otherwise don’t have that activity or don’t have that thing so that means a lot to me to know that we’re providing that to them.”

Team 1511 has won a Regional Chairman’s Award 10 times in the team’s 18-year existence, but this is their first time being a finalist at the world championship competition.