Five years, five State Championships! Team Duct Tape does it again, this time with a brand new crew of 13-16 year old rookies new to the FIRST experience, on our veteran team bringing home the trophies. Thanks in enormous measure to dedicated coaches, mentors and families, all committed heart and soul to our character driven team philosophy that elevates Gracious Professionalism, teamwork,and academic and intellectual achievement above all else, Team Duct Tape succeeded in all counts.
After a day of vigorous game play that included some pretty high scoring matches, we finished with a Finalist Alliance award after a hard-fought three match finals with our great alliance partners Dent in the Universe and Masquerade, from Middleton High School, and the Judges Award for “Highest Ranking Improvement” recognizing our journey from nearly last place at the start of the season, to the State Championship. When all was said and done, we finished in 9th place, had a great time, learned an enormous amount and are full of ideas for improving team performance next season.
We also made the most of our visit to Daytona Beach, touring the fantastic Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, having fun at the awesome Sun Viking Lodge we stayed at on the beach (too cold and windy for us Floridians to hit the ocean, but some team members made the most of the heated pool, and they had an arcade!), and some of us toured the Daytona Speedway. We had fun meeting new teams and making new friends, and can’t wait to do it all again next season!
Our heartiest congratulations to the FTC World Championship bound teams – top championship Inspire Award Winners, FTC Team 5070, NUTS, of Orlando Science Schools, and Winning Alliance Captain Maelstrom from Middleton High School, whose alliance with Brick Buddies and team 3839 NeXT helped them earn the top robot performance award.
While the game playing season is over for us, we’re not done playing with robots! We’ll continue with our hallmark outreach efforts, hitting the road on Saturday for Florida FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Orlando Regional , to demo FIRST Tech Challenge and watch the big robots play, then to the coolTech Expo on March 14, and the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire on March 23rd. We’ll also be meeting semi-regularly throughout the spring and summer, to play (paint ball anyone?), get in some FTC related training and workshops, maybe teach a few ourselves, and generally just keep enjoying each others’ company!
Thanks again to all who helped us get here from there. Rip it! Stick it! Done!
With a “to-do” list long as a new roll of duct tape, TDT members got right back to work after the ROBOT League Championship to evaluate lessons learned and improvements needed. We’ve come a long way but the State Championship is a whole new game, with the playing field level and everything possible, and up against and with some of the best teams in the state.
Today, we got to share a bit of our story with B.C. Manion, a reporter for the Laker , and with 83 Degrees media about our upcoming visit to coolTech 2013.
Everyone’s got specific tasks they’ve taken ownership of, and a pretty tight timeline to get it all done. Mr. Adsit led team members on a project planning overview, similar to what he did with team members last year, to help everyone get a realistic view of what could be accomplished in the short time allotted us, always a good exercise!
Team members will be honing interview skills, tweaking Sheldon a bit (that’s Robot’s name!) , and working in full calendar of upcoming outreach events starting with Lockheed Martin E-week on February 20th, in Orlando, followed by the USF Engineering Expo on February 23 , followed by the Championship. And the outreach roster is full when we get back, too, when we exhibit at the FRC Orlando Regional on March 9, coolTech on March 14, and then at the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire on March 23.
And on top of that, we’re fundraising, hoping to raise $2500 to help defray lodging, travel and other competition related costs on our journey to Daytona.
So we’ve got three weeks left before the State Championship and not a minute to spare between now and then. What a great ride!
That’s the first few words of one of the classic FIRST Core Values– “We do the work to get the job done with guidance from our coaches and mentors.” And that’s exactly what Team Duct Tape members have been doing, to the tune of 10-20 hours a week (almost 30 hours this week!) since the Florida State Championship in February.
Coaches and mentors are proud of the team’s increased level of commitment, and strong show of character as TDT has taken its rebuild in hand, with individual team members taking the initiative in setting build goals, organizing meetings, cooperating and collaborating, and seeking adult guidance and support where needed.
While mechanical set backs have been many and frustrating, our TDT Team Philosophy elevating character, teamwork and academic and intellectual achievement above everything else, has anchored our members with a can-do work ethic that helps them evaluate problems as they occur and then move forward with solutions.
We’re disappointed that we can’t participate in Brick Buddies’ Build by the Bay Jr. FLL Expo today, where we’d hoped to get a little drive practice in with dent in the universe and Masquerade, but our robot still needs a lot of work, and team members didn’t feel they could afford to lose a build day. So they’re back to work today after lunch, to do all they can to get the robot up and running.
It’s been an amazing season so far, and the first season we’ve ever had to rebuild this much – three completely different robots, actually! The experience has been great first hand testimony to the value of careful assessment and design at the front end of the season, but in the long run, more is learned through error than success.
To that end, TDT members have learned an enormous amount this season, and the effort they’re putting into this last rebuild shows them applying lessons learned effectively, if on an unfortunately short turn around. This time they
- Organized their build using an adapted version of Agile project planning, working from end goal and setting calendar goals along the way.
- CADed everything!
- Consulted more seriously with their mentors, especially Paul Markun, of Tampa Technik, whose sound lessons on mechanics and solid build techniques are priceless.
- Put their team before everything else, arranging meetings after school hours and on holidays.
- Cooperated and communicated.