Building robots is cool and all, but there's much more to FIRST Robotics than just robots. FIRST is all about spreading a passion for STEM and inspiring others to challenge themselves and their peers to see just how far their full potential can go. Last week we focused on Hall of Fame Team 254, the Cheesy Poofs, but what does it take to reach the FIRST Hall of Fame? This week we'll look at one such team that has taken a step towards joining the Hall of Fame, Team 900 the Zebracorns.
To join the list of prestigious teams across the world, a team has to win the Chairman's Award at the World Championship. But to win at the Championship level, you first have to win at either the Regional or District Championship level. But to win at the District Championship level, you first must win at a District event. It's a long road to the top, and the Chairman's award takes into account a team's performance and progress towards spreading and embodying the mission of first across many years, not just a single build season. This is new territory for the Zebracorns, whom have never submitted for the award until this year. And to be honest, I'm not quite sure why they've never tried before.
Most people see Chairman's as helping the greater community and inspiring young minds, spreading the reach of FIRST. But the Zebracorns take a new approach that I've never seen in my time with FRC. If you take a look on Chief Delphi, you will likely see Marshall or any of their enthusiastic students of Team 900 trying to help the FRC community better understand game-changing technologies, from vision processing to programming and beyond. They intend to increase the level of play across the global FIRST community and give even rookie teams the access to higher level performance that has never existed. Team 900 has published countless white papers on Chief Delphi with thousands of downloads, answered numerous questions, and provided technical support to teams across the world. I watched Megan coach a rookie team from their area through the complexities of rope construction within the scope of the game rules while they were preparing to get their new rope inspected. Their students are filled with this fire and this passion for supporting the teams around them that I hadn't noticed in previous years. Maybe it was because I was too busy laughing at the carpet burns and the broken defense pins last year. But something about this team and their fire is contagious.
In addition to bringing home the District Chairman's award, 900 also became the first NC team to reach the 40kPa mark, making them a valuable addition to any pair of powerhouse gear teams. The Chairman's award also wins them a bid to the District Championship, something they had otherwise missed the mark on. It's going to be an exciting weekend! Check out the team's Chairman's Award Video below!
Team Phoenix has now locked in their second event points for the New England district and it's looking very likely that Team 2342 will be advancing to the District Championship after another stellar performance. Finishing ranked 9th overall at their event this weekend, they became captain for alliance 7 after alliance selections got under way. They were eliminated after quarterfinals, but still took home the Entrepreneurship award. At just over 50% lock according to calculations, they have a fair shot at advancing!
Team 1153 is another team that has gone a long way towards locking in their seat to the District CMP. The 4th rank team was asked to join the third alliance. In addition to taking home the Excellence in Engineering award, the Robo-Rebels also made it all the way to the semifinals at Rhode Island. They were eliminated after a tiebreaking match. At 60% lock, 1153 looks like a likely candidate to attending the District championship also.
4909 has now locked in their second event as well, and still has a narrow shot at the championship trip. They advanced to the quarterfinals with alliance number five. Though they were eliminated, they still scored major district points for reaching the elimination round.
Team 5556 rose to the challenge this weekend, becoming the alliance 6 captain after finishing rank 8. They too, however, were eliminated in the quarterfinals. Carriagetown is also expected to make a showing at the District Championship, with a total district point score of 75 and a lock percentage of around 40%.
Team perSEVERE turned things around this weekend, finishing rank 21 and being selected by the number 4 alliance and climbed all the way to the semifinals where they were eliminated by Team 238's alliance.
Team 1577 SteamPunk will be competing at the Israel District Championship this week, Stormgears will take to the field again in Hartford, and the Poofs will go at it again at the Silicon Valley Regional. 900 and 2655 will take flight at Campbell University for the North Carolina District Championship, and much is at stake. It's set to be an exciting weekend!
This blog post is part of a series about the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition season, FIRST Steamworks. We'll have weekly updates during build season from ADI FRC Team 2665 Flying Platypi, and updates from many of our ADI teams performances during the competition season. Stay tuned until the end for coverage of BOTH Championships in Houston, TX and St. Louis, MO in April!