This past Saturday was my first-time attending Ruckus and my very first time going to a robotics event.
For some context, I’m Gabby, a freshman and I joined the team this year. I was first introduced to this amazing team this summer when my parents signed my sister and I up for an introduction to robotics day through the Pen-Rec, without me knowing may I add. And, of course, me being the typical moody teenager, didn’t want to go and found it pointless. I was so upset until I saw one of my friends there, Sasha. She was in the same situation as me, so we decided to make the best of it, and we feel in love. When I walked in, all I saw were tiny little robotics and kids and people who were going to be in my school, who I would see every day, and I was embarrassed. But as the time went on, I began to see how fun those tiny little robots were and how cool it was to help little kids code and make the robots complete missions. Most importantly though, I saw future friends, future teammates; so, naturally, I asked if Sasha and I could join the team. Kadence was ecstatic and told us everything we needed to know and in a couple of weeks I started attending meeting, meeting new people, and I realized how amazing the team was and how much I actually liked robotics. Now I’m here, writing this for you.
Like previously stated, this past Saturday was when I attended my first Ruckus and I’m so glad I did. It was a blast! It was so fun meeting other teams, learning about how they operate, and hearing their experiences. One team, in particular, team 424 was a treat to listen to about how and why they created the team. It was truly inspiring hearing how much they cared about getting robotics to every kid across Buffalo and how far they’ve come to reaching that goal. Another awesome thing, near and dear the heart of robotics, was collecting buttons! I had such a fun time collecting other teams’ buttons and decorating my shirt with them. Best of all though, was finding myself in the pits. It was stressful, crowded, and exhilarating all wrapped into one beautiful package. Inspecting the robot and making sure that it was in great condition with nothing out of place so fun. And I really got the pit crew experience when another robot knocked us off the mid bar and broke one of our hangers. Everybody in pit crew had to rush back to the pits, prep the pits, and get working asap. I had the duty of checking for safety, (also known as making sure the wires weren’t exposed and wouldn’t get caught on anything), bolt checking, and changing the battery. And although it may not seem like a lot, with the combination of a small space, multiple people, and a short amount of time, it gets to be a lot and fast. It was the hardest fun I’ve ever had. I also had the opportunity to try out tablet/super scouting and pit scouting which was super enjoyable. At first, pit scouting was very awkward and felt like I was interrogating other teams, but it got much easier and way less awkward after talking with the first couple of teams I was assigned. Super scouting was extremely intimidating at first but once I got the hang of it, it was really nice and sort of calming to do. However, my favorite part of the day was probably the dancing. I swear, I have never danced that much in my entire life. I learned so many new dances that I would never use except for in competitions but, it was great dancing with my team. It made me feel so proud and happy to have joined robotics.
Overall, Ruckus was such a positive experience, as is all of robotics, and I strongly encourage everybody to just tryout robotics because you never know, you may go from finding it pointless, to seeing how important and what a wonderful thing it can be.