On August 5th, the Girls of Steel went to the first ever FRC offseason event held in Pittsburgh – the Steel City Showdown. Even more exciting is the fact that it was held at Carnegie Mellon University right next door to our home workspace! Many of our students and mentors volunteered at the event, and it was wonderful to see so much dedication from all 15 teams – almost every team brought volunteers and this event couldn’t have happened without them.
Two more teams were named team Trinity and team Matrix. They built their robots in two weeks in a summer program at CMU’s Field Robotics Center called Robotics Feiyue. The Girls of Steel (this year partnering with 6414 Voyager) were incredibly excited to see the students from China we’d been working with for the past two weeks compete with their robots.
Finally, the fifth team that made this event unique was a collaborative robot building team of students from the teams at the Showdown. Students from almost every team came together on competition day to be a part of the team called the Red Card Rumblers. The robot was completed in approximately 5 hours with a driving chassis, static gear mechanism, and a working climber! Everyone who worked on Red (the robot’s name) had a fantastic time. In fact, there wasn’t anyone at the Steel City Showdown who didn’t have a fantastic time!
As for our team’s performance, the Girls of Steel were selected for the number one seed alliance, which is the highest that we’ve ever ranked! Unfortunately, we were eliminated in the semifinals by a hair. Our robot, MO, still performed well the whole time, and our final alliance partners (5418 The Sonic Screwdrivers and 4467 The Titanium Titans) were wonderful! A few of the teams that got farther than we did were teams like Trinity and Matrix, so it was hard to be disappointed at the loss for very long. Both Robotics Feiyue teams surpassed all of our expectations and proved that it really is possible to be a competitive FRC team when you only have less than half the build time as everyone else.
This event was ridiculously fun, challenging, and unique. Between robots built in six weeks, two weeks, and five hours were over a hundred passionate students ready to build and learn. We only wish it could have had lasted longer.
But, for our team at least, now is the time to prepare for the next offseason event: MVRC in Mahoning Valley. Come see us there!
Finally, congratulations to the winning alliance – 291 CIA, 2614 MARS, & 3260 SHARP.
Steel City Showdown – https://www.scrashowdown.com/
Robotics Feiyue – http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/girlsofsteel/outreach/feiyue/