Parker’s robotics team, W.A.R. (We Are Robot) Lords, took home the Chairman’s Award from the San Diego Regional FIRST Competition, held March 8 to 10 in Del Mar. This is the second time the team has won the prestigious award, but the first time the team has won it at the San Diego Regional.

The win means W.A.R. Lords qualifies to attend the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship in Houston, Texas in April. Team members Liam Fay, Class of 2018; Kira Hirsh, Class of 2019; and Jordan Finley, Class of 2019, presented the W.A.R. Lords’ story to the Chairman’s judges, and the entire team backed up those words with their actions to bring home the prestigious award.
“Presenting and winning the Chairman’s Award for the team at the San Diego Regional is the highlight of my junior year so far,” says Jordan. “I am so grateful to be a part of such an incredible team making such impactful changes to STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] and to the world.”
“It was, and still is, incredibly surreal and I am so proud of the team for how far we have come,” adds Kira.
The Chairman’s Award is given to the team that has made the most impact within their communities over a period of time, not just in a single build season. W.A.R. Lords has made a deep impact within the local community by mentoring teams, hosting competitions, and volunteering at multiple FIRST events.
W.A.R. Lords also focuses on its own members by offering training and integration programs to new members and providing outreach to women through W.O.W. (Women of W.A.R. Lords). W.O.W. empowers women to pursue robotics and careers in STEM, by mentoring, partnering with area businesses, and bringing in local speakers. W.O.W. has made significant progress in the five years since it was created, increasing the number of women in Parker Robotics from 29 percent to 41 percent.
Staying true to the spirit of the Chairman’s Award, the W.A.R. Lords will present two workshops at the championships in Houston: “The Secret to a Better Robot: Team Building with Improv” and “Twice the Power: How to Increase Engagement of Girls on Your Team with WOW.”
While the team is excited to teach and compete next month, members are busily preparing for their upcoming competition in Las Vegas, happening March 22 to 24, where they hope to continue their winning streak.
“I know this is only the beginning of many victories, both external and internal, for the team this season,” says Jordan.

I am so grateful to be a part of such an incredible team making such impactful changes to STEM and to the world.

Jordan Finley, Class of 2019