TDT joins nine other Florida teams to compete in a field of 72 FIRST Tech Challenge Teams at the first ever South Super Regional in San Antonio, Texas!
The Team Behind the Team
The thing is, though, we didn’t earn that honor all by ourselves. We earned it because of the support, guidance and encouragement of our great mentors, coaches, families, friends, and supporters. We’ve always said that the Team Behind the Team is what really makes TDT successful. That’s proven to be the case again this year, with our still relatively new team of students who polished their great programming, build, interview and teamwork skills through the help of remarkable professionals who dedicated hours of their time and attention to the team. Among the most important things our kids learn is that they fail or succeed together, and also that “success” doesn’t always equal “winning,” and that winning doesn’t always make you successful. They’ve also learned that it’s one thing to become successful and another thing to remain successful.
And with the success of the Inspire Award at the Florida State Championship come new challenges. Competing among the best teams in Florida was difficult. Competing among the best teams in the South will be even harder.
But Florida’s a highly competitive state, and we’ll be heading to the Super Regional with nine other amazing teams from around the state. In addition to TDT, the Florida teams that earned a spot at the Super Regional are:
- 1369 Minotaur – Tampa
- 3846 Maelstrom – Tampa
- 3888 Greased Lightning – Weston
- 4997 Masquerade – Tampa
- 5257 Eagles Robotics Experience – Delray Beach
- 5937 Renaissance Robotics – Apopka
- 6433 Neutrinos – Lakeland
- 6451 Tarpon Robotics Punta Gorda
- 7477 Super-7 – Oviedo
By the same token that it takes a village to make a team successful, we figure we’re all stronger competing together for Florida , than we are alone. So TDT started a group called Team Florida, for our South Super-Regional-bound Florida Teams to network, plan, practice and help each other help Florida make a strong showing. The Super Regional is a new experience for all of us, and while somewhat daunting, it’s fun to be able to be at a big event (72 teams from 12 southern states!) with so many home teams, something you don’t usually get to experience at the FTC World Championship.
How You Can Help
Of course, there are costs inherent in getting our team of ten to San Antonio, and securing lodging and meals there for three days. We can address the actual competition challenges – tweaking the robot, refining strategy, improving the engineering notebook and team presentation, practicing with other teams – but we need your help with the logistical challenges.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein
This week leading up to the State Championship has been full of excitement and productive work. After our last competition, the ROBOT League Championship on Saturday January 11th, Team Duct Tape has had two beneficial meetings.
In between these two competitions we have pinpointed some issues or problem areas on our robot that we could address in the two week period. For example, our autonomous block flipper malfunctioned during the final matches of the last competition. We determined the reason the block flipper failed was because a gear was severely stripped. This was one of the things we were able to fix.
During each of our Saturday meetings, TDT has scheduled and managed driving and judging practice. It is good for the drive teams to have practice with the field and any modifications to the strategy that may have happened since past competitions. It is also important to practice what you are going to say to the judges before you see them. We are always striving to do our best even if it takes putting in the extra time. After adding scripts to include in the presentation and studying major points to discuss, Team Duct Tape has a good foundation for Judgment Day in Daytona Beach on January 31st.
We have even had everyone on our team work together and make a new competition handout, Team Duct Tape buttons! An organized system was used to complete about 100 buttons to give out at State. It was fast and easy to make the buttons when it was a whole group effort!
We learned that sometimes things don’t always work out the way they were planed but it is important to rethink the concept/idea and redesign.
After all, thank you to all our mentors, sponsors, friends, and parents who make Team Duct Tape possible! Because of all your support we are able to have fun and be successful. Now we are pumped up and ready for the Florida State Championship on February 1st, Tournament Day!!