The Charles Finney School For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Team 1405 will advance on to the FIRST Robotics Championship on April 27-30 in St. Louis.

The team was the only local group to be named a winner at March’s FIRST Finger Lakes Regional Robotics Competition at the Rochester Institute of Technology, which qualified them for the international championship.

This is the third time the team has qualified to participate in the FIRST Robotics Championship, which brings together more than 900 teams from 39 countries.

“Our robotics team is small in comparison to the other schools we’re competing against, with a small budget to match,” said Larry Latona, mentor at The Charles Finney School. “But, we’re so proud of the dedication of Team 1405 and what we may lack in size compared to other districts, we make up for in enthusiasm. The students and their mentors spend many long hours planning for and building their robot, and it’s incredibly rewarding for them to get this far as a result.”

FIRST is a national organization aimed at inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders. FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.

Team 1405 is comprised of local, international and home-schooled students. There are approximately 18 mentor volunteers area businesses including Xerox and RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The mentor volunteers dedicate their time and expertise to help the team with strategy, programing, mechanical and electrical needs.

“The Charles Finney School’s Team 1405 are a talented and ambitious group of individuals. Hoselton is proud of what this team has accomplished and pleased to be a sponsor of the program and this year’s robot,” said Drew Hoselton, president of Hoselton, a Rochester-based automotive dealer. “One of the greatest investments we can make is in our future leaders. The students involved in robotics not only improve their skills related to science, technology, engineering and math, but are also developing valuable team building skills and leadership traits.”

The team was also honored by FIRST with the Creativity Award for their winning robot.