Team Duct Tape is super excited to be heading to the 2016-17 FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship in Davie, FL. It was a tough season, with nearly 200 teams competing statewide, so it was no easy feat to earn a spot in the top 28. In the end, we finished in 25th place, and now we’re gearing up for the Velocity Vortex State Championship at Dillard High School in Davie!
We’re also really excited about upcoming changes in 2017-18, when we move to our new home at Regency Park Library, where we’ll be meeting in the new makerspace under development there. We’ll be a sister team to FIRST Robotics Competition team 5276, the Edgar Allan Ohms, who will also be helping mentor our team. The association with the library system will provide a permanent home for Team Duct Tape, bring FIRST programming to youth in New Port Richey, and give Team Duct Tape members an opportunity to explore FIRST Robotics Competition as well.
Stay tuned for more on our new home. For now, we’ve got a Championship to get ready for!
Our 7th season brought our 7th Florida FTC State Championship opportunity, and while we had challenges on the field, our teamwork was solid, and our robot proved reliable and robust, without a single mechanical problem throughout a hard day of competition.
Our design and quality engineering spoke for itself, earning TDT the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award for an “Innovative and Creative Robot design solution” that featured “elegant design, robustness and ‘out of the box’ thinking with regard to design” that was well documented in our Engineering Notebook.
Team member Ryder Fitzpatrick was a Dean’s List sem-finalist, a new award this year recognizing “the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students.”
And our very favorite part of the State Championship, hands down, was our Super Mentor Paul Markun being given the Compass Award. The Compass Award recognizes an adult Coach or Mentor who has provided outstanding guidance and support for an FTC Team throughout the year. Mr. Markun has done just that for the last 7 years, and we’re so glad he was recognized for being the exemplary human being that he is!
The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award earned us a spot at the FTC South Super Regional in San Antonio in March, which is a great honor, but we’re not sure yet whether we’ll attend.
It’s been a full, exciting and successful season, and we’re very grateful to all our wonderful supporters, mentors, family and friends who make it all possible, year after year! You’re what FIRST is all about!
Thank you from the bottom of our duct tape hearts!
Hearty congratulations to all the great teams who made it to the State Championship, and best wishes to those moving on to the Super Regional:
- Inspire Award Winner, Team 6433 Neutrinos
- Inspire Award 2nd place, Team 5070 N.U.T.S.
- Winning Alliance, 1st team selected Team 5257 Eagles Robotics Xperience
- Inspire Award 3rd place, Team 7477 Super 7
- Winning Alliance, 2nd team selected Team 8909 Robo Mojo
- Finalist Alliance Captain Team, 4997 Masquerade
- Connect Award Winner Team, 5937 Renaissance Robotics
- Finalist Alliance, 1st team selected Team 6451 Tarpon Robotics
- Finalist Alliance, 2nd team selected Team 6323 The Pink Team
- Motivate Award Winner, Team 3888 Greased Lightning
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein
TDT members celebrated their sweet success with an abundance of good eats, on Saturday, including a cake declaring “Rip it! Stick it! Done! Atlanta Here We Come!” (which gave the cake decorator some pause) and a cookie cake reminding us that “Duct Tape = Infinite Possibilities!”, and then got down to the business of planning for World Championship success. But not before we took time to consider and honor the team behind the team.
Team Duct Tape is ten great members strong. But behind each of our team members is a team of caring parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, teachers, and mentors. And supporting the entire team is an encouraging community of professionals, organizations and businesses who take time to guide, teach or fund Team Duct Tape. And beyond them is the FIRST community itself, full of caring individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to run competitions and provide guidance and resources to help teams be successful and have fun.
Team members also enjoyed hearing all the great warm thoughts sent their way by other teams and by friends and mentors, who commented on “the friendliness and positive
atitudes of everyone associated with your team,” who said they were “extremely proud to have our company logo on the side of such a strong competitor,” and who praised our robot as “outstanding.”
When Team Duct Tape heads to the World Championship in Atlanta in April, they take with them the trust and faith of a lot more then ten people. Their “Team” numbers in the dozens! Team Duct Tape does not succeed in a vacuum, team members were reminded. To help keep the real Team Duct Tape Team in mind, team members now have a new team roster poster to reflect on, featuring each member connected to family and supporters. We’re taking you ALL with us to Atlanta!
After getting our priorities straight, TDT got down to the business of building and programming, reevaluating State Championship performances and considering the best plan of action and construction for the World event, where we know the competition will be fierce and exemplary.
While team members worked on the mechanics of World, team parents worked on the lighter details, including ideas for tweaking our team look, and for team give-aways. The duct tape was flowing freely and artistically throughout the afternoon, and by the end of the day, the Duct Tape Divas had a game plan and lots of homework!
Next Saturday, we head over to the FRC Regionals in Orlando, to help run FTC demos, and then it’s nose to the grindstone through April. It’s hard to believe we’ve only got about five more meetings to pull everything together before the Championship! But we’ve got a big Team, so we’re good!