Friday, April 16. 2010
Day Two – This is IMPOSSIBLE!!!
Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Have you ever had a situation where you struggled and just felt like giving up? Well that was the feeling for a few members of the Thunder today. We had to get up at about 5:30-6am, get breakfast and run out the door to line up at the Georgia dome in order to get seats with “runners”, however really, they are just speed walkers 😊 Practice matches started right at 9am and 1511 secondary drivers got to do some practice rounds in order to be prepared for filling in on Friday when the Chairman’s students will present.
Many got breakfast from the hotel shop, MORRSELS which featured breakfast sandwiches, croissants, cereal, coffees, juices and sodas. The dome venue offered anything from regular basic concession foods to fresh fruit smoothies, quesidillas to dots ice cream and candy apples/cotton candy.
It was strange to have practice matches and qualifications matches all in the same day as traditionally in the past, there was an entire day dedicated to practicing.
The arena – the arena, or Georgia Dome is the huge home of the Atlanta football player, and to think that rabid teenagers have taken it over! Held within the arena there are FOUR FRC Breakaway fields called: Curie, Newton, Archimedes and Galileo. Between our Curie field and the Galileo field is the Einstein FRC field where the Champions of each division will face off. It isn’t just FRC all on that floor though! The FLL and FTC competitions are also going on all within that dome!
With all the FIRST Teams, participants and fans, together, our force fills about half the entire arena! We anticipate that there will be many more, as several have pledged to bring more people into science and technology which can relate to FIRST.
Not to surprise those of you at home, but if you didn’t know – the competition site and the pit set ups are in two different buildings parted by a 10-15 minute walk depending o people traffic and your slowness. When routing from the arena, you go through the West Point open grassy outdoors and proceed into another building where conferences are held and the Chairman’s hall of fame.
Many of our students attended open conference sessions topical to anything from press releases to pneumatics, or presentation skills.
The Chairman’s hall of fame features past international Chairman’s award winners such as the local X-Cats (FRC 191), and Miracle Workerz aka MOE (365).
The pit area is not like any you might have seen at a regional. It’s about quadruple the size as it is accommodated to suit over 300 teams from all over the world. Robots were being carted here and there, left and right all over the place and all you can hear is the constant grinding sound of teams using power tools and shouting for tools. It’s flooded with students, mentors and visitors that tour all over. Sometimes event FLL students and FTC students. What some rookie or young teams may not have known though, was that judges had been walking around in-cognito!
While many of the odds were against us today, we only won one of our matches because of several robot break downs. As if that would stop the Thunder though! The astounding pit-crew jumped right on the problem and worked to resolve it as soon as possible.
The one match we won was extremely successful which concluded with THREE robot hangs on our alliance. It was the first time ever reported that three robots on one alliance have hung successfully.
Cynette’s note: After the matches were done for the day, Crystal and Parentor Lee went to the conference center and gave a 45 minute presentation on writing press releases that will attract the media and make them want to cover a robotics team. Then Crystal caught up to the other students that were headed to the Robo-Prom, a “semi-formal” dance for team members! Hopefully I’ll get reports on those events and on the rest of the weekend!