FTC North Super Regionals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Mar 20TH 2016

On March 17-19, 2016, our team was staying in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to compete in the FTC North Super Regional competition. This was a large competition with 72 teams from 13 Midwestern states competing. It is also the competition that qualifies teams for the famous World Championship in St. Louis, MO.

We made it to Iowa on Wednesday night after a four hour car ride through the dark, quiet Iowan roads. Several cars were needed to pack everyone and everything that would be needed for the next three days. The first thing we ended up doing was setting up our pit. We were happy with the location of our pit because we had some very cool neighbors and we were right in the middle of everything for our division which was super nice.

Next, we had our judging session which went well. We rehearsed and were polished when we went in to speak with the judges. We didn’t have any hiccups so we were pleased! It was nice to be able to do judging on a separate day from the rest of the competition… stress rationing.

The next days were devoted to qualification matches and judges roaming the pits. As for qualification matches, we had a lot of success. Everything that our robot can do was done during each match- especially for our autonomous! Our autonomous worked during each run, something we are very proud of! Also, we had 100% hang rate- for all nine matches! Our alliance partners were all super nice and fun to work with. Everyone had such cool robots, one of the reasons we love competing in Supers!

We also had three sets of judges visit our pit- this did not happen last year so we were hopeful! We had gone into the tournament with the goal of making it to World, especially Katie since this is her last chance as a senior. There were also quite a few judges that watched our robot runs. Again, we were hopeful.

While we were not chosen to be on an alliance in the elimination matches, we had a great time rooting on the teams. Especially the MN teams that were selected: Robot Squad, The Q is Silqent, and Lazybotts. They each did a fantastic job of representing MN!

As all tournaments go, the last thing after the elimination matches is Awards Ceremony. During the Awards Ceremony, we were honored to learn that we had won 3rd Place Promote Award for our 60 sec Public Service Announcement, 3rd Place PTC Design Award for the form and function of our robot, and finally 1st Place Control Award for our programming and overall control of our robot on the field. The 1st Place Control Award is the award that advanced us to the World Championship in St. Louis, MO. We have worked for seven years - through FLL and FTC - to make this dream of going to World come true. We are beyond ecstatic to be able to fulfill this!

So, with that our season continues! Can’t wait for the next month of robotics and for the World Championships. We will get to meet so many new teams and be a part of an amazing experience with 5 other MN teams as well. We would like to say a HUGE Thank You to our incredible sponsors this season…. without you, we couldn’t have made this 7 Year Dream come true. Thanks for believing in a group of 5 Kids and their robot.

To our families and friends, you have stuck it out for 7 years now, watching us work toward this goal and supporting us every step of the way. Thank you for your unending patience, guidance, love, and support. And finally thank you to our coaches and mentor! You have also been there since day 1 and you have pushed us further and further, opened doors for us, and cheered us on nonstop these past seven years. Thank you for believing in us, yelling at us to “save!”, laughing with us, spending all of the past hundreds of Saturdays with us, and being there for us everyday in between.

Favorite Moments Grant- Showing some of the other teams some “Minnesota Nice” defense. Akash- The way our autonomous performed. It actually worked! John- Our robot hung every match: 100% Hang Rate. Nick- The unique opportunity to rebuild our entire winch system 60 mins before the tournament began… and again 20 min before! Katie- Becoming better friends with all of the MN teams and making new friends with other teams! Also, we finally got to have our “Orange Alliance” with MN’s own Robot Squad!!

But, we all agree that our absolute favorite moment of the tournament was winning the 1st Place Control Award which advanced us to World. In this moment, our seven year old dream came true.