Build Season - Emily ‘22
The 2022 Rapid React Build Season was an especially exciting one. After using our 2020 robot for the 2021 At Home Challenges, the entire team was more than ready to see what the 2022 game could possibly be. Kickoff was on January 8th and like always we were happy to welcome back some of our alumni for kickoff and some as new mentors! By the end of the day we had already made decisions on what we wanted our robot to be able to do, and couldn’t wait to start prototyping. Week one was filled with reading the manual, discussing what we wanted to prioritize with the robot, and early prototypes of an intake and shooter. During week two we split the build team up into subdivisions for each of the main components of our robot and appointed student leaders to each group. This was when we saw the prototypes from the previous week evolve on CAD and go through tests to see how they could be improved.
Our programming team worked in parallel with our build team to get our drivetrain up and running early within the six weeks so students who were interested could practice driving the robot. Soon our prototypes started coming together and production versions started to be constructed. Putting the mechanisms on the production robot is always one of the most exciting parts because you get to see each of the subteam’s parts come together and see what everyone’s hard work was able to accomplish. By the end of week six our competition robot was finalized and we had our driver, operator, human player, technician, and drive coach picked. In the weeks leading up to our first competition at Hatboro Horsham, we had lots of drivers practice and are so thankful that Team 103 invited us to their field to get more experience!
Hatboro Horsham - Grace ‘23
Our first competition this season was at Hatboro Horsham High school. For any student who was not a senior, including myself, this was their first FRC competition, so there was a lot of excitement. As I was on the pit team this season, I saw how quickly the team became used to the competition atmosphere and began to understand why the upperclassmen were always so excited for this part of the season. This was a great first competition for our underclassmen, as the robot held up well, and our pit crew was able to efficiently get the robot ready for each match. This year I was engineering and electronics lead so between matches I would always look through the entire robot to prevent a problem from arising in the future. On Sunday of the competition our team’s two Dean’s List nominees, Connor Williamson and myself, had our interviews with the judges. Although we did not move on as semi finalists, it was still an honor to be nominated by the team!
We were happy with where we ended after all of our qualification matches, and were picked by Team 2607 and Team 365 to join their alliance for playoffs. While we did not make it through to the semi finals we were still proud of how we competed and ready to make improvements for our next competition. Saturday is also when the winners of the Donald Bowers Inspiration Award and the Outstanding Volunteer Award are announced. We are extremely proud of our mentors Jake Gadaleta and Mrs. O’Gara for winning Donald Bowers and Outstanding Volunteer, respectively. Finally, at the end of Sunday was the award ceremony. Before each award the judges give speeches to hint at what team won, and when we heard our motto, Find a Way or Make One, we realized that we had won the Engineering Inspiration Award! This award recognizes a team who works to advance the respect for and accessibility of STEM within their community. Overall we were all very happy with our first competition since 2019 and went out to celebrate at Rita’s along with some of our alumni who had volunteered at the competition that weekend.
Springside Chestnut Hill - Aidan ‘22
The Springside Chestnut Hill competition ended up being an incredibly exciting and successful competition for us. We added some new functions to our robot, so we spent the first night of the competition on the practice field as much as possible to make sure our mechanisms worked consistently. Saturday was a full day of competitions and our drive team quickly got into the groove of working with a new drive coach, since we changed that position between competitions. Our robot performed so well that we were ranked in seventh place by the end of qualification matches and moved up to become the captain of the fourth place alliance! We updated our scouting system and our drive team had a strategy meeting on Saturday night in order to determine which teams we would like to pick, and were glad we had the opportunity to pick and work with Team 433 the Firebirds and Team 1712 Dogma.
Brunch with the Bot - Sihang ‘22
We hosted our annual Brunch With the Bot in our school’s resource center on March 27th, right after our competition at Springside Chestnut Hill. We love hosting this event to show our sponsors, parents, and anyone who is interested in our team and program what we do. At the beginning of the event, each student leader talked to our guests about the building process during the seven weeks of building time and how the robot functions to accomplish goals for the competition. People can feel free to ask any questions about our team or robot while we demo our robot. The breakfast is a great way for parents to truly understand what their kids put so much into and an opportunity for members of the team to showcase and be proud of their robot
Bensalem - Emily ‘22 and Ella ‘26
After our two competitions at Hatboro Horsham and Springside Chestnut Hill, we realized that after two years of not competing, we didn’t want to limit ourselves to only two district competitions this season and wanted our drive team to get as many opportunities to practice as possible. Thankfully there was still room at the Bensalem competition the first weekend in April and right after Brunch with the Bot we got ready for our third competition. Because we decided to go so late, not all of the team was able to make it to the competition so we had to move people into different positions. One of those people was our prefreshman Ella Huber, who got to be in the pit instead of the stands during this competition. Being a prefreshman means that you are in eighth grade, but still compete with the high school team. Here’s what Ella said about the competition:
We were very happy with how we did at Bensalem and loved working with team 5181 and 2559 for the playoffs. We are so thankful that we won the Industrial Design award at the end of the weekend and couldn’t wait for the District Championship to start four days later!
Lehigh - Emily ‘22
Thursday, April 7th marked the beginning of the FIRST Mid-Atlantic Distrit Championship at Lehigh University and we immediately got started by setting up our pit, getting inspected, and playing a practice match.
Throughout our first day we continued to test our mechanisms to make sure we would be able to perform as well as possible throughout the weekend. We played a few matches Thursday afternoon and left that night satisfied with how we had done and excited for the next two days
The entire team was allowed to miss school for the competition on Friday and that made it extra special to walk out of the interview room to our entire team plus our alumni cheering for us. We finished our qualification matches Saturday morning and had even more alumni in the stands cheering us on through our last few matches. While we did not get picked for playoffs or win any awards, we all left this competition extremely proud of everything we were able to accomplish this season and determined to make the most of our upcoming offseason! As a senior it was tough to see my last season come to a close, but having so many alumni around this season helped the other seniors and I realize that you don’t stop being a part of the LC robotics family when you graduate.
Written by LC FRC Students for our Sponsors