Archive for February 3rd, 2011

The Championship Is Overwith

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

On January 22, 2011, we went to the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center for the FLL State Championship. Teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, and even one or two from New York showed up to compete. In total, thirty-seven teams attended the event.

First we went to give our presentation. Though it was in traditional form rather than a skit, it fit the serious subject matter (helping blind people get around), and the judges thought our solution was very well thought out. One judging panel down.

Then we answered questions about the Core Values. At the Delaware Qualifying Event, our first question had been along the lines of, “If you did a student exchange with a team from China, what would you bring?” so we were expecting a difficult questionnaire. However, all the questions we were asked were more along the lines of, “How do you exhibit Gracious Professionalism?” which was what he had expected before the first event. We talked among ourselves to answer all the questions. Two judging panels down.

Finally, we came to the robot judging. At the first event we had done very well in this category, and we hadn’t even brought print-outs of our programs. We showed the judges all the programs we had made, including one for placing the cast on the broken bone which we had cut out of our final program sequence. From what I could see, they were impressed. At the end, one judge remarked that we were the first team they had judged to introduce ourselves. Three judging panels down.

With the judging over, we went onto the last portion of the event: the Robot Game. In the first match we managed to get a total of 145 points, though only a few of our programs worked. The second time we went up, we got to the robotic arm first, and with several other programs working well as well as all of our red blood cells remaining, we scored 230 points. On our last run, the lighting was a little different than before, so our robot messed up on many of the programs — most prominently when it stopped far short of the artery it was supposed to place the stent in — so we only got a hundred-some points.

We ended up finishing in seventeenth place in the Robot Game out of thirty-seven people — not bad for a first-year team. While we didn’t earn an award or a trip to Legoland, San Diego, for the next tournament round, we still had plenty of fun. Unfortunately, this was the last year I was young enough to compete, but all things considered, my first and last year was still an amazing experience.