This past weekend, Team 4909 traveled to Salem, NH to attend the Granite State District Event. We arrived at Salem High School on Thursday to get our robot inspected and set up the team's pit. The pit is the area where teams keep their robots between matches and is also where they hold all of their tools and spare parts.
The competition officially began last Friday with 39 teams from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont participating. Matches are played with a “Blue” alliance of 3 teams competing against a “Red” alliance of 3 teams. All alliances are randomly assigned and alliance configurations are different from match to match. Each team plays 12 qualification matches over the course of two days. After the team’s qualification matches, we ended up in 12th place!
The elimination rounds began with the top 8 seeded teams picking two other teams for their playoff alliance. In regards to alliances, because of the team’s success in qualifying matches, we were given the opportunity to be the first pick by the 3rd seed alliance captain, Team 131 CHAOS from Manchester, NH! Their second pick was Team 6690 MV roboPride from Concord, NH. Unfortunately, we lost in the semi-finals against the first seed alliance.
Even though we were not able to make it to finals, we were extremely excited to bring home the Entrepreneurship Award! According to FIRST Robotics, the Entrepreneurship Award is given to the team that “develops a comprehensive business plan in order to define, manage, and achieve the team’s ongoing objectives. This team displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm as well as demonstrates the vital planning and business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program”. Evaluation is based on the team’s ability to explain to the judges how their plan helps to ensure the team’s continued participation in FIRST. This includes how their business plan is organized, how the team makes decisions and divides their workload, how the team keeps students, mentors, and sponsors actively engaged, how they recruit and train future team members, and how they celebrate success and document lessons learned to prevent repeating mistakes. According to the Judges, our team “Displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm as well as demonstrates vital planning and business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program. This team had an infusion of 8th-grade students last year and quadrupled in size. Students operate the team as a small business and they have a solid business plan to back it up. They make a point to create a safe and inclusive space for their members”. We are so proud to have won this award for the first time in Team 4909’s history!
The team’s next competition is the NE District North Shore Event, which will take place from March 18-20 at Reading Memorial High School in Reading, MA. We are excited to compete again and hope that you will join us!
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