Martinsville, VA – New College Institute’s Robotics Team 1262, the STAGS (Students Technologically Advancing for Greater Success), participated in their first competition of the season as part of the FIRST Chesapeake District. The tournament was held in Blacksburg, VA, March 3-5, 2023.

More than 110 high school teams competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition Challenge, CHARGED UP. The NCI STAGS Team 1262, featuring an all-new mentorship, ranked 14 in the overall standings. Each match presents challenges to overcome, repairs to be made, and incredible insights on how design and capabilities can be improved.

STAG members have been practicing together 6 days a week since early January, turning imagination, plans and parts into a fully working, personable, functional robot with a purpose and even a name (ClankerR).

“The STAGS 1262 FIRST Chesapeake Robotics Team has been called “iconic” by so many people this weekend. We are known for our awesome uniforms, respect for other teams and mentors, and the FIRST Robotics Core Values,” shared Joanie Petty, STAGS team mentor.

“We are incredibly proud of the STAGS for their hard work and dedication to this competition,” continued Petty. “They have put in countless hours of effort and collaboration to get to this point, and it’s great to see that pay off in their successful debut.”

The STAGS are excited about participating in upcoming competitions and continuing to inspire other students to pursue their passion for robotics.

FIRST Robotics is an international program that challenges teams of high school students to design, build, and program robots to compete in a series of challenges.

To learn more about Team 1262 – the STAGS and their journey to the FIRST Chesapeake District competition, visit