Tag Archives: Smoke and Mirrors

Ready or Not, Here we Come!

Mostly we’re probably not ready, but here we come anyway, for our first ROBOT League of Tampa Bay meet of the season, at Hillsborough High School on Saturday, November 17.   The event is free and open to the public, so bring family and friends  and join in the fun.

We figure even if all we can do is run defense, we’ll be the best defense runners we can be!  Hopefully, though, we’ll be able to do a little more by Saturday.  Our new team members are learning first hand the challenges between conceptualizing a great design and actually putting it into practice.   Just because you can CAD out cool gearing doesn’t mean it will necessarily fall right into place on your machine. Fortunately, there’s always Plan B; i.e. there’s more than one way to power an part!

Team members have been working hard together, and in collaboration with our great mentors and coaches, and the journey so far has been instructive, if somewhat daunting. The League format foreshortens the season a bit, with the meet requirements  that necessitate participating in some earlier competitions than we probably would have with a mostly new team.  But it’s a good challenge and team members have gamely taken it on. Two extra meetings this week should put us in better shape for Saturday.

  Many thanks to Mr. Markun, of Tampa Technik who, even with a broken arm, has used his one good arm to instruct and counsel; and to our coaches, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and to all our great parents for ferrying team members from Odessa, to Oldsmar to St. Pete!

And special gratitude to FTC teams Smoke & Mirrors and Hillsborough High School’s team Hydra for the GP loan of parts and practice equipment.

We love our FTC Community!




Congratulations Team Smoke & Mirrors – 2010 FTC World Champions!


A visit from Umbrella Guy and Mr. Dan, of Raytheon

Well, you win some, you lose some, and along the way, you have some fun! 

Neither our luck nor our skill held in the face of strong competition from other World Championship teams, but we definitely had some fun, and we’re very happy to report that our Winning Alliance partners from the State Championship, team Smoke & Mirrors, captained the Winning Alliance  at the World Championship. Way to go, Smoke & Mirrors!

We worked hard and we played hard, and we learned an enormous amount from our first World Championship experience. We plan to incorporate all our Lessons Learned in our next season, and aim for the 2o11 World Championship in St. Louis. 
We feel we represented FIRST, our state, and our sponsors

Sharing Duck Tape skills

Sharing Duck Tape skills

and supporters in fine form, and received a lot of complements about our team.  Everyone enjoyed our pit presence and we had fun from start to finish! 

We took in the full experience, too, from FIRST Night at the GA Aquarium to the FIRST Finale, and a few side trips in between, including a great tour of GA Tech, and some great sights on our treks to and from the Georgia Dome each day.
TDT at the Georgia Dome

TDT at the Georgia Dome

We especially enjoyed the FIRST Finale, where thousands of FIRST students gathered to eat and play together, on a beautiful spring night at Centennial Park, an evening capped off by a great fireworks display, providing a celebratory finish to a remarkable week!
Thank you again to all who helped our students make this incredible trip.  Everything they learned in Atlanta will serve them well into their futures, and will make them a stronger and more competitive team in 2011!

FIRST Finale at Centennial Park

FIRST Finale at Centennial Park

And thank you, FIRST, for pulling together a marvelous 2010 FIRST World Championship!  It’s definitely the “Hardest Fun Ever!”
We’re heading back home tomorrow and will post more pictures soon.

Smoke & Mirrors and TDT on ABC

abc-newsAbout three weeks ago, TDT joined team Smoke and Mirrors for a follow up story by ABC News reporter John Thomas, about their team’s State Championship experience.   The piece just aired this weekend on ABC Action News, and can be enjoyed online , as well.