Although though this was an unusual (and short) season, FIRST teams haven’t lost sight of why they love the program. To continue our Spotlight Series, we want to introduce you to three more teams who are determined, curious, and eager to share STEM with others.
FRC Team 6664 Pharr LadyBots
After hearing other students talk about their robots, Irene was curious about the FIRST Robotics Competition. She joined along with her friend Melissa, and their team went home with the Imagery Award at the Dripping Springs FRC Regional–their third award in four years. They battled a variety of mechanical issues, but they credit their success to the team’s determination as well as “…the FIRST community which “makes anything possible.”
In addition to learning about robotics (Melissa says she didn’t realize she could build one until she got in there and did it!), the experiences they gained will stay with them for life. As Irene says, “It strengthened my ability to interact and coexist with others, it improved my social interaction skills, and I learned the highs and lows of competition.”
FTC Team 12533 Lakeway Inception
It’s not just about robots: it’s about relationships. Inception teammates value “…creating bonds and friendships with the very same teams that we’re competing against.” They’ve also explored their relationship to failure, recognizing that mistakes bring them one step closer to a solution.
“We went through just about 4 iterations of drivetrain plates before ending up with our final ones. We decided to pridefully show our misprints, miscuts, and probably other mistakes in our pit at our final competition, to show how much we learned and how many failed parts we had to get through before getting to our final robot.”
Inception was proud to attend the FIRST National Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. where they had the opportunity to learn more about advocacy and meet with legislative leadership from Texas to talk about their experience with FIRST.
FTC Team 11009 McAllen Robodogs
As the season went on, the Robodogs noticed they weren’t just getting better at building robots: they were becoming more confident in general. They got better at giving interviews and speaking proudly about the work and their role within the team. One team member, Julian, even started getting better grades in English because he was writing passionately about robotics! FIRST truly has a ripple effect on the lives of the participants.
Part of that ripple effect is in learning to overcome adversity. The team faced a devastating blow when their robot didn’t advance due to a non-functioning arm. They had gone out on a limb and tried something they’d never done before, and it backfired in competition. Though they were disappointed, they chose to focus on their “why”.
Did it matter whether they won or not? Was it only about competing? Not for the Robodogs. They decided they’d rather support other teams and encourage continued interest in STEM:”That was our why, giving back when it seemed like we had nothing. A team goes beyond for what they love and the people who built them up.”
This concludes the FIRST in Texas Spotlight Series. Join us in congratulating these teams, and many others like them, for making the most out of this season!