TDT sponsor Learning is for Everyone has been helping sponsor a rookie FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team this year, #4769, the Electrodes, based at Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg. Programming and CAD mentor, Chris Willingham, has been splitting his mentoring time between TDT and the Electrodes for the last six weeks, an impressive feat considering the teams are more than 30 miles apart.
With the FTC State Championship successfully behind us now, Chris will be putting all his energies into helping the Electrodes get through their first event, the Orlando Regional, being held March 7-9 at the University of Central Florida. Arena.
TDT will be there, too, helping provide FIRST Tech Challenge demonstrations with a couple of our State Championship friends, FTC 4997, Masquerade and FTC 5454, dent in the universe . FLL and Jr. FLL teams will also be showcasing their programs – That’s our whole Finalist Alliance! And we hope to catch some of the FRC action of Ultimate Ascent while we’re there.
There will be 63 FRC teams at the event, from all over Florida, and around the country, as well as few international teams. We can’t wait to see the big robots play!
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!
All our hard work paid off last Saturday, at the Middleton High School meet, where we finished in 4th place on the field – a significant improvement over our next to last place finish at Hillsborough. In our final alliance match with Middleton High School FTC team, Masquerade, we also helped bring in the world FTC Ring it Up! high score for the season so far: 428!
With an improved robot, better teamwork skills, a stronger judged interview and better field performance, we’ve begun our upward climb from the bottom of the rankings. We’ve still got a lot of work ahead of us, but a bunch of meetings, two more meets and the League Championship still ahead to keep honing our skills.
Like Irving Berlin said, “The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success.”
We came home with a laundry list of improvements to incorporate, so we’ve got plenty to keep us busy between now and our next competition on January 12 at Palm Harbor University High School. In the meantime, enjoy this great video of our top scoring alliance match, posted by Masquerade, from Middleton Robotics.