Saturday, January 8. 2011
Tonight’s Blog Entry is written by Student Leader, Crystal (team part) and Mentor Cynette (Rookie Build Session).
We are BA-ACK! Today was FRC Game Kick-off for the 2011 season.
In the morning we converged in the Kodak Theater on the ridge. Some arrived early for the Kick-off Tailgate Breakfast event, but the majority of the team arrived by bus for the broadcast.
The day was long for us since we woke early to catch our 8:30am school bus to the Kodak Theater on the Ridge! We met up with several other Rochester teams and enjoyed breakfast items including donuts and hot beverages.
Mentor Jeff hosted the 2011 Beta conference where he discussed the new updates and covered all the material about the system. The room was packed with people!
Finally at around 9:55am, teams were allowed to flood into the theater and many cheers were heard as the morning passed. Finally at 10:25am, we all sat, waiting patiently as the slowest five minutes of our life passed until the broadcast finally launched the opening video!
There were many new exciting things the Kickoff featured including special guest: will.i.am! FIRST has hinted that the will.i.am may be joining FIRST teams at the Championships! We also saw former team leader Kim, and her husband Eric wave to us from the broadcast site in NH! As the presentation went on, weird objects were shown throughout until Dave finally introduced the game animation.
Celebrating 20 great years of FIRST so far, teams around the country just knew that this year, the game had to be epic, and as we would all have it, many minds have been blown away! With the integration of all levels of FIRST, it’s safe to say that many FRC teams will be working with other local FLL and FTC teams to make this year’s season, a great success as we all compete in LOGOMOTION!
If you thought, that after the presentation we’d go home, you were very wrong! After the Kickoff, team members viewed the mock field elements the RIT FIRST members put together, and we departed from the theater around 12:30pm.
Lunch was all ready when our bus rolled back to the school, and we enjoyed custom sandwiches, egg mac salad and veggie lasagna with the much needed caffeine… thank you Montemallos! From there, we began our design process where we began by splitting off into groups and reading the game section of the manual while we await the arrival of the full manuals which later arrived around 1pm.
As a group we discussed the many methods of scoring, penalties/yellow/red & DQ rules, notable rules and of course plenty of questions for the Q&A.
Despite the long hours, our entire team participated and listened well as we covered most aspects of the game. After that, we broke off into our groups again to brainstorm supportive, offensive and defensive strategies. With those notes, team members then created match scenarios where we came up with one auto mode and three different teleop modes that revolved around supportive, offensive and defensive strategies.
For dinner, we had a wonderful combo of various taco mixes, beef stew and mashed potatoes along with copious amounts of varied banana and zucchini breads and beverages. Thank you to Kieran’s family!
Soon after 7pm, team members parted with us and the remaining strategy subteam members stayed until 9pm, brainstorming numerous amounts of effective strategy that will help with the design decisions tomorrow!
In typical 1511 fashion the afternoon was spent on two different activities. Most of the team went to discuss game strategy, but several of the mentors (Jeff, Dean, Tony, Lee and Cynette) along with student alumni (Tommy, Theo, Josh, Shawna and Becca) headed to the Rochester city school Engineering Center to help four rookie teams assemble a working platform on which to build their bots.
The event was a great success, giving the teams a head start on the build season, teaching student valuable robot-building skills, and boosting morale all around.
The mechanical part of the build was documented by Dean using a fixed camera taking interval shots (I can not wait to see the results). The evening ended with two of the four rookie teams having functioning drive trains and the other two teams not far behind.
Congratulations to rookie teams 3613, 3799, 3838 and pseudo-rookie team 73 on a great FIRST first day.
On another note, we’ve been seeing a ton of alumni this season, and we’re happy to have them back helping not only our team, but four other rookie teams that sprouted in the area! Thank you alumni!
And finally, thank YOU for checking back with us to see what we’re up too this season! We can’t wait to blog about tomorrow and we’ll be happy to share what we’ve decided.