Here’s another team story from the FIRST championship in Atlanta next week! I had the opportunity to ask a few teams some questions, check ’em out!
FIRST Robotics Challenge Team 341: Miss Daisy
2010 is shaping up to be one of Miss Daisy’s most successful years ever, based out of Ambler, PA. At both the New York City and Philadelphia Regionals, Miss Daisy came out on top as #1 seed and later went on to win both regionals. In addition, the Daisy team has taken home two Website Awards and a very special Chairman’s Award.
Becky Stern: Why are you excited to bring your team to FIRST this year?
Jenni, age 18: I am excited to be involved in FIRST because it is a great community of people. FIRST is about more than just winning the game. It is about the things that we learn, the people we meet, and inspiration of others. FIRST has gotten me interested in engineering as a career and without it I would not be going on to study engineering next year. One thing that is really unique about this community is the sense of teamwork and gracious professionalism. This means that off the field everyone helps to make sure that every team is competing at their best and winning or losing fairly.
Lily, age 18: What other after school activities can a student say they have traveled throughout the world or built robots? Another unique idea that FIRST supports is the idea of gracious professionalism; basically it means that we may be playing against a team ten minutes from now but until those ten minutes are up we help them fix their robot if its broken and we make sure that we are going to have an opponent that is truly playing to their full potential.
Ryan, age 17: In the six weeks that we spend building our robot, the students on our team become a really close-knit team. The excitement and energy at the competitions is shared throughout our whole team, and when our robot does really well, it’s a wonderful experience for the whole team. I also like how FIRST encourages teams to concern themselves with more than just their own robot and their own team. It’s not a competition where the mindset is to win at all costs. In fact, you’ll find many teams (such as our own) lending a hand to teams whose robots have been damaged or broken. This mindset we have makes for a great competition environment where teams can compete fiercely on the field, and still be friendly with each other off the field.
Becky: What’s been the most rewarding experience in the program so far?
Jenni: One of the most rewarding things for me is putting my heart and soul into the team building the robot and working on the Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the highest honor in FIRST and it is given to a team that is a role model to other teams and inspires others in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. I am proud to say that I worked hard on preparing and presenting the Chairman’s Award and it paid off when we won Philadelphia’s Regional Chairman’s Award.
Lily: The most rewarding part of my experience in FIRST has been going to competition. When our team travels to go to competitions it’s really exciting to see what we spent 6 weeks building on the field, running and working the way that we planned.
Ryan: For me, the best part about being on a robotics team is seeing the fruits of my work in action. We build a robot with our own two hands, and then we get to watch it compete, and often win! It’s not like school where all your work goes into getting a grade, which is basically just a number. In FIRST, all that effort you put in turns into something much more tangible.
Becky: What makes your team awesome/special?
Jenni: I think what makes our team awesome is that we strive to mentor and help everyone. At events you can always find team members in other team’s pits giving them help that they need. Also teams come to our pit to ask questions or seek guidance. We hold one of the biggest off-season events every year, Ramp Riot. This event allows teams to train their rookies every year. Lastly, for teams that we can’t mentor directly we have Team in a Box, a free DVD resource with advice and videos about everything FIRST.
Lily: I think that our team is truly special because we’re like a huge family. During build season we all go and do our separate jobs for the team but when it’s time to go to competition we all work together and support each other. Another thing that makes our team special is our spirit. Our team name is Miss Daisy, and one can even see the guys on our team wearing daisies on their heads. And when our team is on the field everyone in the building can hear us cheering our team on. Even when we’re not playing we cheer for the other teams that we have met.
Ryan: Our team motto is “we build people”. On Team 341, it’s not just about making a robot. The students learn by doing. Coaches and mentors don’t necessarily show us exactly how to build the robot. They teach us how to figure out how to build the robot. From the early stages of brainstorming and designing, to packing up the finished robot for shipping, to competing at the Championships, our team inspires its students be part of something bigger. Building and competing with this robot inspires us to live up to our full potential as individual students, and as a team.