Sunday, February 21. 2010
Local FRC Teams were everywhere. We had 17 teams on our RSVP but I think only 12-14 made it. The going was rough, but I think all the teams gained some valuable insight into how the game would be played out, and benefited from the practice time and or the community pit time.
I could and should probably give you more details, but the day really flew by at a blurring pace. I know there was free cake and it was great, but I didn’t get any. I know the bleachers were filled for the opening ceremony and even more filled after Kathy Rapp, from ITT, made her presentation and use a unique team and community building exercise to make more room on the bleachers for the SRO crowd. Additional thanks also to Chip Renzi and Laura Chan from Harris (our main and awesome sponsor) for speaking. Crystal’s opening video was wonderful, but I wish it would have been introduced so that more people would have paid attention to it. Mentor Jeff’s field management system did a great job to give the feel of competition and it was fun to have Mentor Eric E. as our MC – complete with Rolling Thunder colored Hawaiian Shirt! Thanks for a tremendous effort goes out to the field sub-team for 6 weeks of hard work building the field (for just 4 hours of play time – sigh), to all the mom’s and dad’s who helped with the concessions or other tasks, to the corporate sub-team led by parentor Lee for getting the media there, and to all the rest of the team members for helping out the other teams as hosts of the event, and for helping to take it all apart and cleaning up after it was over.
I have a little meal menu reporting to get caught up on, so let me do that here:
I lost track of who brought donuts and bagels in for breakfast on Saturday, but lunch was provided by Ethan’s family. I missed it but I heard that it was wonderful deluxe chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches! I missed lunch because I was home preparing dinner which was a baked-potato bar complete with a wide selection of toppings: chili, bacon, cheese, broccoli, scallions… for dessert we had creampuffs and mini éclairs.
Sunday’s bagels and donuts were brought in by Mentors Kim and Eric. Lunch was pizza with a wide variety of toppings, tossed salad and veggies and dip brought in by Chris’s family. Dessert was Famous Amos mini-chocolate chip cookies and Oreo cakesters. Dinner was brought in by Mike Mac’s family and was pizza as well with a selection of meaty and cheese toppings. We have one more family meal planned for Monday night, so while I’m thinking of it, I just wanted to say thanks again to all of the families and mentors who kept us well fed during build season.
The rally was a good chance for us to give the candidates for drive team a change to take the controls, but more time was spent off the field than on the field. Drivers with a little confidence were able to consistently manage the bumps. Ball handling was a little more challenging, especially if the ball ended up along the wall of the field or up against the bump. We learned that if we try to push a ball over the ramp, it will go under the robot. and stay there for the rest of the game. The autonomous modes worked but always seemed just a little off to me. There is a photo of Thunderfoot hanging on the tower, so that must have worked at least once, but I missed it!
We actually only have one more night to spend on the robot before it goes in its crate to be shipped on Tuesday. Monday night will be a very busy hectic robot day!
As of noon today, 23 students have passed the game and tool test and are eligible to attend competition! I have a few more 100% to report – students eligible to be on the drive-team or pit crew as well: Mike H, Theo, Kyle, Crystal, Alex, Matt and Justin (a week ago, but I missed reporting him earlier). Several students are very close to passing or getting 100%, and several finished the task before the end of the evening, but I want to make sure I have something to talk about tomorrow!
We are definitely in the home stretch now and after Monday night it will be the wild dash to prepare the whole team for the regionals! Huge quantities of buttons have been made, but more are to come. We are planning on carrying on the tradition of FRC365 MOE with the personal recognition buttons at the regionals and need to make those buttons and handouts. Work will need to be done to make sure we have all the pieces of the pit since it spent the summer at several locations. Robot brochures and team pamphlets need to be designed and printed, and team awards – the ones we give other teams- need to be finalized. And Chairman’s prep and making the team video… I’m stopping now before I wear myself out just thinking of it! Where did the past 6 weeks go?!?
Photos of the Day!