We’re Going to the FTC State Championship!

Luck sits squarely at the intersection of hard work and opportunity –  UCLA Coach Tom Stebbins

We did it! Starting at the back of the pack, in next to last place, we applied lessons learned through five competitions to finish right in the middle of the 24 team slate bound for the FTC State Championship in Daytona Beach, on March 2nd,  preserving our legacy of competing in the State Championship every year since our founding in 2008.

The ROBOT League Championship was a challenging event, aligning us with, and pitting us against, some of the best teams in Florida and the nation – including World Championship team Masquerade, from Middleton High School, which is also currently the top ranked team in the state.   In the end, we made it to the Finalist Alliance captained by Brick Buddies, and took home two trophies, one for the runner up alliance, and one for the PTC Design Award.

When we take stock of our season, we are pleased with our students, honored to have the support of their remarkable families, our incredible coaches and our devoted mentors,  and gratified by the effectiveness of our team philosophy , which clearly demonstrates the value of the FIRST  program when applied with the academic and social integrity intended.  We were able to take a group of students, ages 13-16,  from diverse backgrounds and different schools who had never participated in a FIRST program and bring them together as a team, connecting them with caring, committed and supportive mentors, teaching solid engineering, design and programming skills along the way, and guiding them to a point where they placed in the top 24 of nearly 80 teams statewide.

  • Our little team of rookie students has consistently applied lessons learned mechanically, strategically and corporately, with students working overtime after school, weekends and during school holidays.
  • We’ve been matched against some really good, tough teams with both good and not so good alliances and we’ve scored consistently well.
  • We have a reliable, well built robot, with a working autonomous, and a good collection system, two good driving teams who now know how to run defense and offense, and we make a good lifting partner.
  • Team members have kept up their engineering notebook as they’ve learned the skills they’ve needed to program, CAD and build, worked hard to create a great team video, conducted community outreach , helped mentor other teams, and generally been an all-around great team of FIRST students.

There’s always a degree of uncertainty that can’t be controlled, but the more effort that’s put into the things that can be controlled, the greater the chances of success. That’s true across the board and we hope that’s a lesson our students take to heart and into all they do beyond Team Duct Tape.

Go Team!


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