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Hello, Robolions team members, mentors, friends, and community members! Welcome to "The Fourth Law of Robotics," home to University City High School's FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team. We hope to use this blog to inform you about what we're up to.
We compete in the FRC (First Robotics Competition), an annual competition where we have six weeks to build a robot from scratch. This year's game is Recycle Rush. We'll post updates here to let you all know what we're up to with building (and competing with) our robot!
We also are now competing in FTC (First Tech Challenge), the next level down from FRC. The game was called Ring It Up!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 3 of Competition- the finals!!

So, as you all know, today was the big day for the STL Regional! Qualifying matches finished up in the morning (we had two matches, both pretty successful), then Alliance Selection before lunch, with the elimination matches taking place after lunch. I'll try to explain as much as I can about the day; but by this point it's all sort of run together in my mind. Here goes!

This morning, we had two matches, at 10:15 and 10:51. We scouted out our alliance members for those, and discovered that they were all strong offensive teams with working minibots, so we decided not to use our minibot afterall. It was still pretty good though- the minibot, that is. So we played mostly defense for these matches.

By the end of qualification, we were ranked at 16th. So we weren't in the running to be Alliance Captains, and choose other teams to join our alliance. But the alliance selection was still very intense. I'll do my best to explain how it works.

The top 8 teams are the alliance 'captains', meaning they get to choose two other teams to join their alliance for the elimination rounds. It went down the line, and then back up, so team #1 got to choose first and last, and #8 got to choose twice in a row. In today's alliance selection, team #1 asked team #2 to join their alliance, and team #2 accepted. So team #3 moved into #2's spot, #4 into #3's, and so on, until they had to fill in the #8 spot with the next highest ranked team, #9.

It was intense. We weren't chosen in the first round, so when they went back through the line to choose the third team for each alliance, we were crossing our fingers. They got all the way down the line until they got back to the #1 team- and we had pretty much given up hope. I mean, these are the top two teams, they're really good! Why would they choose us?

But they did! We were paired with the #1 team! And it was a darn good alliance too- the other two teams, 1985 and 3284, had really strong offense and were great at putting up tubes. They both also had really effective minibots, and autonomous modes. So we brought the defense, making sure the opposing alliance couldn't get to their tubes, or hanging pegs, or minibot towers. It was a great system- 1985 and 3284 were able to score score score without having to worry about the other alliance, which we took care of. All in all, it was great.

Elimination matches are played best two out of three. We played all the way through the quarterfinals, semifinals and finally (no pun intended) we made it to the final round! They were two very tough matches- the opposing alliance was strong, and put up an amazing fight. Ultimately, however, our alliance (the red alliance! yay!) won. Everyone was on the edge of their seats waiting for the final scores. When they announced that the red alliance had scored 95 points against the blue alliance's 48, the crowd erupted into cheers. There were many highfives and hugs, and of course, handshakes and 'good match!'-es to the other team. I'll post videos of the match later.

So, by winnning this regional, we are moving on to the International Championship, which will take place here in Saint Louis in April. It's extremely exciting- teams from all around the globe will be coming here to compete. We will be up against the greatest teams in the world. It's a huge event. There will be more info when it gets closer.

The entire weekend was a great experience. It's such a wonderful event- so high-energy, and friendly. It's like a sports competition- only how many sports competitions do you know where the whole crowd stands up and does the Cupid Shuffle while they are waiting for the referees to make a decision? How many sports competitions do you know where teams go out of their way to help another team- to help them be safe, to help them strategize and come up with a better plan, to go above and beyond and donate their own time to teach your team a new skill? How many sports competitions do you know where every single player- EVERY player- can go pro in their sport? I could go on and on- it's really amazing what FIRST does. It teaches not only good, friendly competition; but lifelong skills of teamwork, problem-solving, love of technology, and countless practical skills that will be used in the engineering, buisness and many other career fields in the future. These are real things- the kids who do FIRST are going to be the ones who grow up to cure cancer, find efficent, clean energy sources, and solve world hunger. We need more kids to do this, to create a better future. But I believe we can :)

I'll post more pictures and videos tomorrow. Leave a comment or send an email ( with any questions or comments!

And a special shoutout to our AMAZING mentors and coach- without you guys, we would be nothing. You help us through so many problems, and teach us so many new skills. You view things in a more mature, organized way, and help us get back on track when we overthink stuff. So to Brandon, Mr. Simpson, Mr. Dodson and Mr. Sarber, THANK YOU! You mean so much to us!

1 comment:

  1. So proud of everyone. All the hard work for the team and leaders paid off. I know that you gave up valuable spring break and weekend time for months. Not to mention that you had to work extra harder to find times to get your homework done. You are an amazing group and all of U City schools are so proud of you. Congrats.