CN Robotics FIXEDFor three-and-half days in mid-April, members of the Upper School’s Bot Provoking team tested their robot against 400 other mechanical competitors and their teams of human developers at the FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston. The Nueva team entered the elimination round seeded 36th out of 67 teams in its division, and made it to the divisional quarter-finals, where it was knocked out by the team that went on to win the division.

While the robot personified the team’s accomplishments, what really mattered was how the team worked together and never gave up. They persisted through uncrating, debugging and inspecting the robot, two days of qualification matches, and even a 6:45am session on the practice field Saturday morning to work out unanticipated side-gear autonomous mode issues.

“Houston was a big step up for our team, which had only participated in competitions with 40 to 60 other teams. We were excited to play alongside teams we usually get to see only in videos,” said engineering teacher Michelle Grau. “Our students demonstrated such gracious professionalism and respect for each other and their competitors. Everyone appreciated their commitment to learning and improving.”

When not working on the robot, students had time to meet with other teams, attend educational sessions, and check out sponsor booths displaying the latest gear. The competition finals were held at Houston’s Minute Maid Park baseball stadium, capped off with a fireworks display. Before leaving Houston, the Nueva team ended visited NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where they saw Mission Control and an actual Saturn V rocket.

“The competition may be over, but the friendships forged among the team members will go on, and the constant stream of students sharing ideas for projects for next year is the real victory,” said Michelle.

 


 May 12, 2017

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