On September 29th, we had the privilege to present to a local elementary school: Freedom Elementary. Our goal for this presentation was to show over two hundred fourth and fifth graders our robot from last season, as well as make them aware of the FIRST Lego League teams that their school has to offer. Through an interactive presentation, we were able to achieve our goal! The students loved watching our robot from last season pick up and shoot balls. We were also able to spark many interests, both in the students and in their teachers, about FIRST. The students had numerous questions about both our team and their own school’s FLL teams. This presentation helped fill the three FLL teams at Freedom Elementary! We will be returning to Freedom twice a week to help with those FLL teams, but more on that to come in the future.
This season our team welcomed several new members to replace our seniors that graduated last season. These new members, along with returning members, were able to learn many new skills. These skills ranged anywhere from learning how to use a power drill, to learning about the Chairman’s Award, to even learning about how to design an efficient robot. The skills that the students learned over the season will benefit them in their future endeavors, be it with FIRST, school, work, etc.
On March 1st, we headed over to Duluth, MN to partake in the largely competitive Lake Superior Regional. Despite the tough competition, our team finished in 47th place, we learned a lot about how our robot could improve for the next regional competition.
On March 21st, we drove the long bus ride to Cedar Falls, Iowa to participate in the second annual Iowa Regional. Our robot performed much better than it did in Duluth- we ranked 33rd, but were selected to be a part of alliance number four. Unfortunately, our alliance did not qualify past quarter finals, but we are grateful to have been chosen as part of the alliance.
The Chairman’s Award team was also able to take away many things from their presentations at both regionals. The Chairman’s award is the most prestigious award that can be won through FIRST. The purpose of this award is to explain how your team demonstrates the ideals of FIRST. Our team did not win Chairman’s, however we have numerous ideas to help the community and various FIRST teams in our area for the upcoming season.
After both of these experiences, we were able to take away new concepts that would help us in the future. For example, one concept we learned helped us face the challenges with our swerve drive train. This challenge inspired two of our members to design a custom tank drive for practice, as well as possibly for next season’s game. All departments of our team are excited for what next season has to bring.