It has been a week full of recovery after one awesome regional – the week 5 Queen City Regional in Cincinnati, OH, March 30-April 2, 2016.! Thank you to the sponsors, mentors, and parents who enable us to participate and learn in the wonderful program of FIRST. This year, our robot has truly performed amazingly and we could not be any more thrilled. One reason for this is the incredible schedule we were able to keep during the build period. The drive team was able to practice with a working robot on a full scale field (thanks to the wonderful practice field volunteers who constructed an entire field and an awesome tech lead who kept it all running smoothly) from week 3 of build season on. This clearly showed with their dominating driving, operating, and overall performance. We can proudly say that we had a fully functional robot in every single match and an autonomous routine that was successful in all but 2 matches!
After arriving and checking into the hotel late on Wednesday night, load in crew got to the stadium early on Thursday to go get Byte and the rest of the team soon followed. Thursday started out with some reoccurring gearbox troubles that continued throughout the regional, but never got in the way due to some early recognition from the pit crew. They replaced a third stage gearbox with grace and poise countless times through the course of the regional. We have not yet been able to completely diagnose the problem, but we think it has something to do with the toughness of this years game (you can see Byte flying around in this video: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMO_q-aMMEfVNYfoVgQKwFvXaWgLuqz6fDrhyQoHf62P-Dj2QOZbm7kDlNQkF26zA?key=MDhXcUx4ZzFUbGdrbnVhbHhUOW9EUVVzZWhtd2N3).
On Thursday evening after pits closing we went to The Madison Bowl for bowling and Graeter’s ice cream with another all girls team, FRC 2399 The Fighting Unicorns. One girl said “It was great to see the network of encouragement and support that FIRST has laid the foundations for by interacting with another all girls team from a different state.”
Friday’s qualification matches were bunches of fun to watch and we got to play with and compete against many cool robots and even cooler teams. We ended Friday in 21st place with three more qualification matches left on the next day. The team gathered at an Italian restaurant/Pittsburgh Steelers bar, Martino’s on Vine, to reflect and eat up before the final day of competition.
Saturday was action packed, full of excitement, and consisted of even more gear replacements. We began the morning by finishing qualification matches with a rank of 12. Way to go girls! Pit crew worked furiously through alliance selections to get the robot ready for elimination matches. We ended up being the 8th alliance captain and we invited BONDS FRC 5811 and the Mighty Monkey Wrenches FRC 2016 to join our alliance. We faced the 1st alliance and went 1 and 1 bringing us to a make or break 3rd match. Our drive team and little robot outperformed all of our expectations and held their own against 3 of the best robots at this year’s Queen City Regional. They played a strong game of defense and prevented several goals from being scored. We ended up losing the 3rd match by only 9 points. By the way our team volunteered for multiple shifts at the Safety Glasses table – greeting and reminding people about being safe.
Not only did our robot have a great showing, we also received the Engineering Inspiration award which gave great credit to all of the team’s outreach efforts. This year we hosted or attended 60+ events and got to meet many (fingers crossed) Rosie’s of the Future. There were even a few young Rosies who stopped by our pit to visit at the regional. Congratulations to the countless team members and outside supporters who have encouraged and helped to spread our mission. The world needs more empowered girls and we have made it our purpose to help those girls through STEM. We will be traveling to Saint Louis for the FIRST World Championship at the end of April in recognition of those efforts.