And We’re Off! (2017 West Valley, Mount Vernon, and Glacier Peak)

By March 31, 20172017 News

Three competitions in three weeks. The CyberKnights put in our hard work and dedication with a favorable outcome. Participating in district meets at West Valley, Mount Vernon, and Glacier Peak, we have gained new insights to further our competition at Cheney, WA.

We began our journey with our first district event in West Valley, standing out in the middle of the pits, public relations busied themselves with actively talking to teams and judges. On the engineering side, our robot worked fiercely and competitively. However, due to scarce practice time, The CyberKnights ranked 22nd out of the 33 teams participating in the West Valley meet. We were the 2nd pick of the 8th alliance.

Our spirits were lifted during the awards ceremony when we found out that Madeleine Schwitters, a member of the CyberKnights, advanced as a semi-finalist for the FIRST Dean’s List Award. This award is given in an effort to recognize the leadership and dedications of FIRST‘s most outstanding students. Madeleine will now go on to compete in the Cheney district meet to determine if she will be the Dean’s List Finalist. Following Madeleine’s success, we received the Quality Award, which celebrates the robot that best exemplifies its quality machinery in its concepts and fabrication.

Throughout our this meet we were met with some challenges. 75% of our public relations team were new to FIRST, and with the hectic dynamic of bustling pits and cheering crowds, it was hard to adapt. Despite this roadblock, we were still able to spread our team’s message of bridging the gaps in STEM education. Drive practice by our first meet was limited so we took advantage of the lone weekend between competitions to improve on our robot, allowing us to up our game at Mount Vernon, our next meet.

At our second district meet, Mount Vernon, our robot picked up its pace with a shorter climb time and a higher accuracy with shooting fuel.  Our improvements allowed us to advance 9th out of 25 teams in our rankings. Within our public relations team, we saw massive improvements with speaking to judges and connecting with other teams. Consequently, we were able to eloquently articulate our passion for spreading STEM throughout our community. As a result, we were gifted with red ribbons exclaiming the title of ” Engineering Inspiration Winner”. This award celebrated the team that best demonstrates appreciation for engineering within their community.

With two meets under our belt, we had high expectations to improve our competitive streak. We kicked off our final district meet at Glacier Peak high school with a tailgating breakfast hosted by CPR. Afterward, we entered the competitive atmosphere and gave it our all. Placing 3rd out of 40 teams as alliance captain with CPR 3663 and Aluminati 5495, we successfully reached the top. We also hosted a Unified Robotics conference with 24 attendees outside of our team in a casual setting, informing them about our widespread outreach in bringing robotics to students special needs. Our contact list for Unified Robotics grew tremendously, sparking hope for the continued growth of our program in upcoming seasons. To culminate our last district meet, we were awarded the Industrial Design Award which celebrates a robot that functions to effectively address the game challenge.