Carman-Ainsworth robotics team ends season with world championship appearance

Carman-Ainsworth High School’s Megatron Oracles (Big MO) Team 314. Photo provided

Carman-Ainsworth High School’s Megatron Oracles (Big MO) Team 314. Photo provided

FLINT – It was a battle of the best high school robotics teams from around the world.

It was an opportunity for Carman- Ainsworth High School’s Megatron Oracles (Big MO) Team 314 to build on their FIRST® in Michigan state championship finalist showing.

Sadly, the team left the FIRST world championship in Detroit with no medals, banners or trophies, logging a 4-6 record in the Curie Subdivision, arguably the toughest of the six subdivisions at the championship.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s part of life,” said team head mentor Ellen Crain. “FIRST has a saying ‘It’s more than robots’ and that couldn’t be truer in this instance.”

While robotics competitions served as the centerpiece of the championship at Detroit’s Cobo Center and Ford Field, there were plenty of other events and activities for the students to explore.

“The world championship really is a festival where students and parents can learn about engineering, science and non-technical careers,” Crain said. “This is a great venue to explore educational opportunities.”

Numerous institutions, from MIT to Syracuse, sent admissions representatives to the event to share information on their programs and application processes. No institution could top Flint’s Kettering University, which dominated the riverfront entrance to Cobo by hosting a student lounge where visitors could meet with staff and alumni to learn more about the school.

This is the second year the championship has been hosted by Detroit. The tournament will take place in the Motor City in 2020 and Big MO plans to be there.

“Disappointment turns to planning for the future,” Crain said. “Our first order of business is recruiting students and then brainstorming ideas for next season, which promises to be very interesting with direct tie-ins with Disney, LucasFilm and Star Wars.”

Details of the 2020 competition won’t be released until January, but the teaser video featuring actor Mark Hamill provides some insight:

For results from the world championship, check out

If you would like to donate to support the team’s 2020 season, contact Ellen Crain at 810-91-7525, or email

The Megatron Oracles (Big MO) Team 314 was founded in 1999 for the purpose of recognizing and inspiring students interested in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). Big MO, which operates out of the Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools, has won numerous districts, regional and state tournaments. Robots designed, built and programmed by the students have been honored with numerous engineering and design awards.

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