Tuesday, February 23, 2021

To say the least this is one of the most unusual FIRST® seasons that anyone can remember.  With the start of the pandemic last year and everything shutting down, to the current season with the new styled competitions and no new robot to build everything is topsy turvy.  Now instead of competing on a field, students and mentors are having to rethink what it means to compete. Demonstrating programming skills, and driving skills by performing specific tasks rather than being on the field with their alliance partners. A new component is having to develop a presentation for judges on the design and build process for last years robot.  Think judges visiting your pit to ask you questions about your robot and you are pretty close.

A completely new aspect of the competition this year is that teams can envision their own FRC game and present their ideas to FIRST.  Write the rules, design the game pieces, envision the field layout,  figure out the scoring, what are the penalties? If FIRST likes your idea best you may see it in the future on an FRC field near you.  How cool would that be to be able to play a game we designed!

Besides all this we still have the ability to submit for Chairman’s award, Woodie Flowers Award, Digital Animation Award, Safety Animation Award as well as Dean’s List Awards.

With the changes in how we are competing there are changes to the awards too.  While a few are not on the list there are many that have been added to add to the fun.  However Rookie awards have been worked into Both Game Design and IRaH (Infinite Recharge at Home).

Up dates from our various subteams:

Woodie Flowers and Dean’s List have both been submitted!


Essay is written! Executive Summary is done! Chairman’s has been submitted 2 days early! Congratulations to our hard working Chairman’s team on all their hard work. Our presenters have been selected and are hard at work developing their parts.

Game Design:

Working on their submissions, we have ironed out the overview and mechanics for the game so we have started writing the essays that will be submitted.  We are also designing the CAD version of our field which will also be submitted.


Programming has been working hard on the autonomous challenge, three of the 5 programs have been written and tested and the last 2 are on their way.  Drive team has been practicing on their skills challenges while our “pit crew” continues to maintain and repair the robot to keep it in tip top shape.  The flyer for submission has been finished as well as the presentation crew has been selected.  Parts are due in any day for upgrades on the shooter.

Innovation Challenge:

The Innovation Challenge subteam is getting ready for our March 4th submission. We are defining our problem, solution and the technology we are planning to use. We are refining our business model canvas and starting our pitch deck slides. Thank you to Scott Dreschler, Mary Beth Walker, Penfield Physical Education teachers and occupational/physical therapists, BOCES, Penfield SEPTA, Total Sports Experience/CP Rochester, and Rochester Accessible Adventures for their help with our research efforts.

So much more is going on 3D printing, CAD work, Community Service….. The list is nearly endless but that is for another post.

Team 1511 Blogger,



Leave a Reply