This January at the Brandywine Hundred Library in Wilmington, DE, you can see a display put together by Team 8528 that promotes FIRST, First State Robotics, and FIRST Tech Challenge. We wanted an effective way to show our community the fun, unique culture of FIRST. The team pulled together trophies, their Engineering Notebook, and a poster from the 2014-2015 season to give those unfamiliar with FTC an idea of what they do as a robotics team.
In order to show the unique culture of FIRST, we chose to display buttons collected from teams all over the world. Trading buttons is a huge part of FTC competitions. Designing and distributing buttons gives teams a chance to express their team identity and get their name out to advertise their team. Some teams use buttons as a way to promote a special project or event. Most buttons are two-inch diameter metal pins covered in paper, but some teams make buttons out of laser-cut wood or even 3D-printed parts.
The display will be up through the month of January. Rhyme Know Reason thanks the Brandywine Hundred Library for giving us this opportunity.
Our team is preparing for another great season! We are starting by taking apart the old robot and having new team members visit and see what we do. We have also started brainstorming for a permanent demo bot. Our robot from this past season was having more technical difficulties so we decided it was time to say goodbye to The Raven and use its parts for an amazing new robot. Although we're sad to see it go, it's pretty fun to demolish it!
A week ago we attended our first state championship, the Diamond State Championship in Dover, DE! Even though our robot was having a really bad day, the competition was a lot of fun. We found out that the set screws in our gear box had started binding the night before the competition, and without time to fix the robot, we couldn't raise the arms. Almost as soon as we got there, people started offering to help us with spare parts, advice, encouragement…That’s one of our favorite things about FIRST, everyone tries to help everyone do their best! We had kids from other teams, mentors from other teams, cool MCs, referees, robot inspectors, pretty much everyone trying to help us.
We ended up winning 2 out of 5 matches, which was better than we expected with a broken robot, and with LOTs of help from our alliance, the Enforcers, we got one of the highest scores of the day, 515 points! It was great to see all of the teams that we’re friends with do very well in the competition, most of them were at least in Semi Finals! :D
We ended up winning the Think Award and being nominated for the Motivate Award. ‘Edgar Allen Poe’ and ‘Emily Dickinson’ also won the Dean’s List Award (the first FTC Dean’s List Award ever given at DE states)! We will be representing Delaware for the Dean’s List Award at the World Championship!
On November 22 my team attended our first competition! We had a blast! None of us were sure how it would go, seeing as we had never tested our current robot in a match, or even been to a competition. However, it went very well :) The minute people saw our robot they started asking questions. The biggest question was "What are those things on your conveyor belt???" The answer... Toilet float halves! It was fun to see people's reactions to that! We became known for the uniqueness of our robot and our enthusiasm, by the end of the day, people were actually getting our name right ;D Although we didn't get to advance to semi-finals, we won more matches than we lost. We also won the Motivate Award!! It was encouraging to know that we had succeeded in motivating other teams throughout the day. One of my favorite things was that the judges made our award description rhyme!
"This team displayed good sportsmanship with alliance and opposing teams alike. Their enthusiasm was infectious; they were able to laugh when their robot struggled in the end game.
When they came to the meet,
they came to compete
and even though the match didn't last a while
they still ended with a laugh and a smile."
Hi! Dr. Seuss here! I am the youngest member on this team, but it’s not the only team I’m on. I am also on the ThunderMinds FLL team 3119. In FLL you make and program robots just like in FTC, but instead of metal we use only Legos. No power tools needed! We also have to come up with a project related to the theme of a particular year. This year the theme is world class because we need to come up with a product that will help kids learn a new skill or maybe even learn a familiar skill in a different way. Both teams are lots of fun. This is my 3rd year doing FLL and I am definitely seeing how that experience is helping me in FTC. Being familiar with gear ratios and basic robot design concepts is a plus. Also, FLL focuses a lot on Core Values, so now they just come naturally and I think that has helped me be a better team member on both teams. We are planning to get the two teams together to share our work, and maybe give some suggestions to each other. I am really looking forward to it.