Hiya Blog! I’m sorry we’ve been gone for so long, buuuuut we’ve had a veeeeeeeery busy 2 months! And by busy, I, of course, mean the most amazing, wonderful, exciting 2 months we’ve had! As you’ve probably guessed, when build season ended we jumped right into competition season. So let’s break this down week by week to make our amazing season a little easier to understand. (Get ready for a long one!)
We didn’t compete during this week, but we started all our prep for Westtown! We did lunch and after school drive team meetings where we practiced on our second bot (his name is Bowser!). Our drivers got some intense practice so we would be ready for our first competition. We are also suuuuper lucky to have an amazing Firebird Mentor/Superstar Dad who built us a rolling battery box and storage cart to add to our pit (they are the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen (and yes i may be biased because I’m in the pit… and I might have cried when he rolled them… hey we don’t judge! #tearsofjoy). So now we had 2 amazing carts (THAT HE EVEN PAINTED FIREBIRD PLAGUES TO PUT ON THE SIDES OF THE CARTS [we had some amazing girls design and carve them out on the x-carve machine!!!] AND I WANT TO CRY AGAIN). But yes we spent some time here packing and oooooooof courseeeeee CHAIRMAN’S PRACTICE!!!!!! We did a lot of work on our presentation, for those that don’t know, we actually had one of girls design a video game that the judges could play with a customized Firebird Avatar!!!!!! It was suuuuuuuper cool and I think I fell in love with it! (can you tell I presented for Chairman’s yet?). But yes! Week one of competitions was wiiiiiiild (even though there was no competition because ya know #poweruppowerouttage was a real thing, we <3 Hatboro). And nooooow we are ready for Weeeeeeeek Twooooooooo!!!!!!
Time for our birdies to fly! This week we were competing at Westtown with some amazing teams! We had our six hours of unbag where we carved extra intake arms on our x carve machine and assembled them. And we fixed all the issues we found on our practice bot during the prior week (also shout out to our drivers and programmers because we ended up taking up more time fixing mechanical issues than we originally thought #doingeverythingwithalmostnothing) (#whysomanyhashtags) (#sorrynotsorry). We packed and of course continued our drive team practices and Chairman practices. But the real fun started on Friday! We got to drive to WESTTOWN!!!! (it was very cold and we had to stand outside… you think we would learn to bring winter jackets) But we got in, and we did our work (#workit), we were the first to be inspected (WE PASSED) and guess what? We were the first on the field to practice!!!! Well… we were the only ones on the field at the time. Somehow we lost that practice match… (thanks Ron for all the fouls) *DISCLAIMER WE DIDN’T ACTUALLY GET THAT MANY FOULS OUR ROBOT WALUIGI ON FIRE IS A GOOD BOY AND DID NOT DO THAT* We went into qualifications the next day excited to play for the first time! We actually had a very strong first day and were hoping to continue this streak into the next day! We did come across a few issues. By a few I mean two, but 2 very very annoying ones. First things first the pulley on our elevator broke (... more than once) and the rope kept fraying in that one pulley and eventually would snap. We were prepared though and fixed our pulley and rope and continued on. Then came the storm. Our intake. We discovered that weekend that all the pressure and force from intaking cubes was concentrated on our right arm… the screw holding our intake would actually loosen itself and eventually would actually strip itself. This made the entire back wheel to just fall on the field. Luckily for us, our design could run independent from that one motor and would actually be able to intake cubes like normal. Luckily we finally came up with a way to prevent that from happening which just required a more precise way of tightening the screw. By the time we 100% fixed it, it was Sunday. We headed into our last day with our heads held high and had another strong day. We ended with 7 wins to 5 losses, the first time we’ve ever left a competition winning more matches than we lost. Though we weren’t picked for an alliance, we were next on deck to go in if a robot was unable to compete. So while other packed up we headed to the stands with a few girls keeping watch in the pit just in case. We went through the afternoon with a few scares of having to go on, we got to the finals and it seemed that we weren’t going to go in. But the second finals match, we get volunteers sprinting to our pit saying we need to go on for another team. So, we quickly got our robot together, quickly walked (no running in the pits!) and got our drive team together and competed in the finals! Though we didn’t win our match, we were able to walk out of Westtown with silver metal and a determination to do even better at SCH!
SCH BABYYYYYYYYYY! We spent this entire week fixing our robot from Westtown, more driver practice, and EVEN MORE CHAIRMAN’S PRACTICE! We spent the week prepping again for a second competition (Note: 2 weekends in a row is a marathon… bring caffeine). We also had an extra/new thing to pack!!!! The amazing mentor/dad that made us the storage carts… MADE US A ROBOT CART THAT IS GORGEOUS AND CAN BE USED AS BUNKS AKA I CAN FIT ON THE LOWER LEVEL OF IT AND IT’S REALLY PRETTY AND THE WHEELS LOCK AND CAN MOVE SIDE TO SIDE. OH MA LORDY (1640) ITS SO PRETTY. Let’s just say we were all very excited (and yes I did take a nap on the cart).
But let’s get to the fun part…. FRIDAY SCH COMPETITION BABYYYYYYY!!!!!! So ya girl is also the safety captain and I had a goal. That goal was to take over safety at SCH. SOOOooooOooo we had girls making really really cool safety handouts and spoiler alert! I WON STAR OF THE DAY AND IT WAS REALLY COOL AND I HAVE A PIN. Well anywho we did REALLY GOOD AND WE WERE AN ALLIANCE CAPTAIN AND IT WAS SO SO COOL!!!!! Plus we had a suuuuper fun alliance! (#allcatholicalliance) *shoutout to E=McD and LaSalle Robotics!* Though we didn’t make it past quarterfinals we had an AMAZING second match where we played our hearts out (#wholehearted) and we ended up winning and let’s just say there are some fun pictures of us close to crying waiting for the results for that match to come up! After that we cleaned up, and let me tell you, I was super proud of all the work our entire team had done, from every little detail, to every circle up before shop or competitions, I truly was a proud mama bird who couldn’t ask for a better team. After our final match I was ready to bring Wallie back to the shop and start prepping for next year, I didn’t see a way we could move on.
But the impossible happened. As we are going through awards, all of our amazing friends were winning awards, most of the team’s competing for Chairman’s had gotten awards, and we got down to the final two awards. EI and Chairman’s. As they announced 1218 for EI, and we still hadn’t won an award, many of us were sure we were going to walk home empty handed, but oh no that was not the case. They start to talk about the Chairman’s award, they slightly mention a flame, but there are many fire teams. Until, you hear, “they each put in 4.33 hours of community service”. Now cue my ungodly scream that could be heard for miles and our entire team shrieks as they announce TEAM 433 THE FIREBIRDS!!!! WE WON CHAIRMAN’S AND WE WERE ACCEPTED TO LEHIGH!!!! Our spirits were lifted and we were ready for Lehigh.
Well… We didn’t compete but this was the week where everyone got sick, so we limited shop and made it more of a please don’t get everyone else sick type of week.
Hatboro Horsham! Take 2! (no power outages I promise!) We had some amazing mentors who volunteered their time to ref and judge #firebirdpride #guitarherohannah ! We also helped LaSalle Robotics prep for Chairman’s and they were amazing and we can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next year and for all the years to come! That’s about it! We had lots of dreams of robots and Lehigh and Penn State Ice Cream!
LEHIGH BABYYYYy (wow I say that a lot don’t I?) So quick (hopefully) recap of what all happened! Wednesday! Pit Crew drove up and set up out pit, we had lots of fun decorations, lights, and another new pit cart!!!! If you can’t tell we are all very excited over new pit additions. Thursday morning was a wild wind. We got in got inspected and started on the practice field while we coordinated scouting with 272 Cyber-Crusaders and practiced Chairman’s! Our programmers were on overdrive working with Autonomous and did some amazing work (gotta love Auto Quest! Shout out to our amazing programmers!)! We also GOT SPIRIT WINGS!!!! YES WINGS LIKE ACTUAL GOLD WINGS FOR THE STANDS IT WAS AMAAAAAAZING!!!! Once matches started were stayed consistently in the middle of rankings, but that being said we couldn’t be happier with out. Also an important factor: everyone actually enjoyed the pizza, usually everyone is complaining about eating pizza for the 100th time but A+ for Lehigh!
We ended our party in pits, but that didn’t end our party all together! We headed to the STEM Soiree (hosted by the Robovikings so huge thanks to them!)! We had so so sooooo much fun and I may be a little biased, but I think we were the life of the party (#dancethenightaway). We danced until we felt like our feet were going to fall off, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! We all went home/to a hotel that night and tried to get as much sleep as possible, even though that wouldn’t be much! We headed into Friday tired, but super excited and filled with the fun memories from the night before! All day our Auto was rocking it!!! Though we did drop in the ranks, we are again super super proud of what we did! Also shout out to my pit girls for never panicking more than like twice a day, and two our scouters for being amazing and doing a great job, and of course all of our amazing cheer squad for being the loudest in our hearts! ANNNNNND WE PRESENTED CHAIRMANS!!! Coach Farrell and (the love of my life) Annie, learned about the Chairman Squad’s ‘freestyle practices’ where we say our entire presentation in the most exaggerated and funny way possible! We had an amazing time presenting and loved being able to spread the message of our team and FIRST! We ended this night with giggles and laughs, and a few of our girls even end seeing some of the volunteers eating dinner together (can’t escape MAR, but never upset about that!) SATURDAY!! We had a really fun morning and got right into our matches, errr well, maybe not. We got re-inspected and we are about .25 lbs overweight… Wow man, zip ties and electrical tape really add up… So we took some decorative pneumatic tubing out and we were ending our day at 119.95 lbs... good enough for us! Well our matches went pretty well! We did have one accident that ended up splitting our intake arm in half, but our pit crew did an amazing job at fixing it for the next match! Again I’ll say it once more (and maybe more in the next few sentences) we are amazed and soooo proud with how our robot performed! Though we didn’t get picked for alliances, we jumped into the stands to cheer on all of our amazing friends competing! Once we got to awards, we got a little nervous. But, to our excitement (and I mean A LOT of excitement) WE WON THE SPIRIT AWARD! We are so honored to get this award at Lehigh, our team may be small, but our hearts make up for that and no matter who you talk to you’ll get some amazing answers about our team and some amazing cheering in the stands!
We want to thank all the volunteers from this season and our mentors for making it amazing! Though we did not qualify for Worlds, the memories we made this season are even better than that! And though our competition season ended, the Firebirds don’t stop! We’ve already started making plans for next year! Here’s a quick bulleted list of what we’ve done so I don’t bore you all with another paragraph
So Yes! We’re still very busy! But thanks for flying with us this season, it’s been amazing! And don’t worry we’re not going anywhere!
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