January 9th: FRC Kickoff and FLL Championship Competition

We had one exciting and busy Saturday! Many of you may already know this but January 9th was the FRC game reveal.   Our team, as well as thousands of other FRC teams, found out the task that the robots must complete for the 2016 challenge Stronghold.  The Girls of Steel attended our regional kickoff event hosted by the A. W. Beattie Career School and FRC team 2051, Beattie Bulldogs.  The day started early with some guest speakers and yummy snacks.   We were happy to see one of our newest sponsors, Comcast, there graciously supporting FIRST by attending and sending a speaking representative. Additionally we heard an inspiring story of a FIRST alumni who was successful through hard work and now mentors her high school team.  Our regional director, Dr. Patricia DePra, brought us up until podcast time with a wonderful talk on regional goals for Pittsburgh and the importance of robotics in young people’s lives.

Promptly at 10:30 am we tuned in to hear from FIRST headquarters as they explained the 2016 game, Stronghold.  Stronghold seems like a difficult game, but we are up to the task – what a way to challenge our brain’s FIRST!  At the kickoff event the Girls of Steel attended a brief breakout session until 12 o’clock when we headed to CMU for more brainstorming with our team.

Upon arrival at CMU, we had a fabulous lunch of Papa John’s pizza, pasta salad, and cookies.  While we filled our stomachs we began a long process of brainstorming.  The session began with a group discussion on the rules and ways to score points.  This was a great way to make sure everyone was on the same page.  After that we proposed what we would prioritize this year.  We will give you a hint of our number one priority – it’s driving! The rest is a secret.  Then we broke down into seven smaller groups of three to four girls each where we thought of some concept ideas.  By five o’clock we all dragged ourselves home ready to be back and building on Monday afternoon! Good luck to all of the other FRC teams!

In addition, as if that day did not already seem busy, our three FLL teams- Robotic Marvels, Dot Dot Dot, and The Green Gears – were participating in the Western PA Regional Championship FLL Competition at La Roche College. Several of our girls are dedicated FLL mentors who sadly had to miss kickoff to be with the FLL teams.  We missed our FLL mentors, but we know they were much appreciated at the competition! One of the girls there said the experience mentoring was “fun and inspiring”.

File Jan 11, 8 56 06 AM

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