Power Up! Championships, Detroit



The Girls of Steel took a trip to Detroit, Michigan to compete in the Darwin Division at the FIRST World Championships April 25 to 28, 2018! We qualified at the Miami Valley Regional with a Wild Card and at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional where we received the Regional Chairman’s Award!

The team took a bus to Detroit, loaded in and immediately began repairing and improving our robot, Clyde. In the interim after our last regional we manufactured a climber mechanism to add to Clyde. With this addition, we were able to complete all of the capabilities that FIRST Power Up required. Our programmers also added the capabilities of two cubes on the scale during the autonomous period. All testing before championships was done on our practice robot, Blinky.

We did not have the best of luck during qualifications as our record was 2-8-0, but Clyde did have a successful climb!



Despite some matches that did not go our way, we had a great time collaborating with the other teams in the Darwin Division on our alliances. We got a chance to meet teams from several other countries, and our friends, Savage Tumaz FRC 6947 from Taipei, Taiwan got to join us for the week!

Above photo credit FIRST Facebook page.

Aside from competition, we had a chance to interact with teams by exploring the pits and observing other robots. We gave out our own awards to some of our favorite teams including recognitions like “Best Robot Name” and “Most Inspiring”. This allowed us to get to know some of the teams better and make new friendships! We also used our lunch break to step outside of Cobo Center and explore a little of downtown Detroit. The city welcomed FIRST with rows of food trucks, activities, and even a moving robot float. Lauren, our team leader, said, “Champs was a great experience! Though the robot didn’t do as well as we had hoped it was still wonderful to see the different teams and levels and meet people from all over the world. I ended up talking to an FLL team from Ireland for a long time, and took a picture with two FLL Jr team members from South Korea. It was also nice to have so many people come up to us and know our team and what we do.


In addition, our team presented a session at the FIRST Championship Conferences, “Plate and Standoff Construction: A Simple 2D Method for Creating Accurate 3D Parts.” Here’s a link to their presentation slides.

Our Chairman’s team used our updated Girls of Steel Robotics STEM Pipeline poster at their presentation.

We had a great time at Robo Prom with new friends and old friends. Thank you to FRC 399 Eagle Robotics for organizing such a fun annual event.

Several members of our team are NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awardees and they were thrilled to meet other NCWITers at the NCWIT breakfast on Saturday after alliance selections.

The FIRST Championships holds an incredibly supportive environment based in Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism. Everyone shares parts, buttons and positivity, which makes it a great environment to work in. Teams wear fun costumes, make signs and cheer to their heart’s content to show their spirit for their team and for others. Unlike other competitive environments, FIRST teams show nothing but support for each other. Rachel, a junior on the team said, ”While our robot performance at Champs may not have gone as well as we had hoped for, I don’t regret a single thing. We accomplished so much this year and I can’t wait to do this all again next year!”.


Check out other photos from champs on the FIRST Facebook page.

The Girls of Steel are not done for the year, though! We still have lots of outreach events and summer camps coming up in the next few months along with several off-season competitions, like the WOW Championships! We can’t wait for #FIRSTLaunch2019!

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