REGION — Blue Crew FIRST Robotics Competition Team 6153 has added more awards and accomplishments to their resume after competing in two more events in New England.
FRC is a program for high school students focused on science, technology, engineering, and math. Teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand”, and develop teamwork skills while building and programming industrial-scale robots to play a challenging terrain game against like-minded competitors.
The 2022 game is Rapid React with transportation as the theme. It focuses on airports and airplanes.
This year, Blue Crew is a combination of students from Foster Career and Technical Education Center and Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Spruce Mountain High School in Jay, and Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. Chandler Pike, a student of the latter lives in Jay and his father, Joel Pike, is a mentor for the team.
Spruce hasn’t had a team since councilman Daniel Lemieux retired in 2020.
Blue Crew won the President’s Award – the highest honor possible in FRC – at the New England Pine Tree District event held at Thomas College in Waterville from March 11-13.
Blue Crew then took part in the New England District Pease Event from March 31 to April 2 in Durham, New Hampshire. The team won the Engineering Inspiration Award there, the second highest honor possible in FRC. The team was not eligible for the President’s Award as a team can only win it once in regional competitions.
Both awards qualified Blue Crew to compete in the New England District Championship April 13-16 in West Springfield, Massachusetts.
“We finished eighth in qualifying games for the Titanium Division and captained the sixth-seeded Alliance through the playoffs,” Foster CTE Center team member Emily Hammond wrote in a recent post. E-mail.
“Along with our alliance partners 1073 The Force Team of Hollis, NH, and 3146 the Granby Grunts of Granby, CT, we competed in four grueling quarterfinal matches, including two tiebreakers (the second was a replay due to a field fault), against the third seed alliance. It was very intense, but with the quick relationships we formed with our alliance partners and the encouragement from our cheer team, we persisted.Our alliance emerged victorious and qualified for the semi-finals.In our second semi-final game, we lost to the second alliance by just one point.
“It was gratifying to see the robot we worked so hard on succeed,” Hammond wrote. “In the end, the Blue Crew finished 25th out of 182 teams in New England.”
Thanks to the efforts of safety co-captain Ben Hatch, Blue Crew won its fifth Safety of the Year All-Star award, she noted. “At the Titanium Division Awards, the Blue Crew won the Gracious Professionalism Award,” Hammond wrote.
The award celebrates teamwork on and off the playing field, a way of doing things that encourages high quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community, according to the site. WebFIRST.
“Our success at this event qualified our team for the World Championship in Houston, TX,” noted Hammond. “Our team has not qualified for this event since its first year in 2016, and this is the first year that we have qualified with our robot. Unfortunately, due to a lack of significant funding needed and a quick three-day turnaround between New England and Worlds, we were unable to attend.
“We hope to raise enough money over the coming year to compete on the world stage in 2023,” she continued. “What has been so special this season is that every member of the team put in a great effort which led to our world qualification. of New England, and the performances of our robot qualified us for the world championships.
“We have over 2,000 student hours logged for this season alone,” Hammond noted. “This kind of dedication is rarely seen elsewhere. Although the pandemic has brought complications, our team has only grown and I predict it will continue to grow as we expand our team outside of Mt. Blue. I couldn’t have asked for better students to lead this year, or better mentors to support and teach us. This team has become my family and I am so proud of everything we have achieved.
As pit manager, Mt. Blue’s Noah Civiello wrote in an email that his main job is to check the robot after games to make sure nothing has come loose or broken, changing the battery and sometimes do other things to prepare for the next game. such as greasing gears or repairing and replacing broken robot parts.
“One thing I love about robotics is that the skills used to build this robot are skills that can be used later in jobs, but they’re taught on-site rather than in a classroom, and the product is used in a fun competition,” he noted. “I’m really happy that we qualified for the world championships because it means we’re one of the top 400 teams in the world and it’s promising that next year’s competition will go well for us.”
“As Programming Captain, it was my responsibility to work with the construction crew and the driving crew to get the robot to work as intended and to create a program that would run the robot for the first 15 seconds of every game,” said SMHS member Quin Fournier. written in an email. “On the practice squad, I would control where the robot was aiming during the game, and then I would control the arms that would allow the robot to climb up the bars.
“A few weeks ago we attended the New England District Championship and I can’t express how happy I was with our performance,” he noted. “We placed much higher than I expected.”
“At this event, my duties were to speak to the judges about the entrepreneurship plan and answer any questions about our sponsors,” SMHS member Lily Bailey wrote in an email. “The Gracious Professionalism Award recognized our efforts in trying to promote STEM in our community and schools. Our team had an incredible season and we are very lucky to have been a part of it.
The latest event was bigger, more formal than previous ones, SMHS member Ava Coates said last Thursday night. “It was really fun to see all the teams, flags and banners decorating the seats,” she noted.
Scouting and choosing the teams to be part of the alliance, giving advice to the training squad was the most difficult for Coates. “There were a lot of good teams, a lot of things that we didn’t know,” she said. “Even if the teams we chose were not top level, they were very competent.
“It would have been a cool experience to go to Worlds,” Coates said. “Just knowing we did it and could have gone was pretty cool.”
“It was an incredible performance from the combined teams of Spruce Mountain and Mt. Blue,” Joel Pike said Thursday night. “I’ve worked with both of these teams in one way or another for 11 or 12 years, this is the first time either one has been on the field for the New England playoffs.
“We were one of the teams that had an (automated external defibrillator) in the pit,” he noted. “A lot of mentors were saying we should probably go for it because it was one of the most biting endings I’ve ever seen.”
The team entered as the eighth seed, became the sixth alliance captain.
“The good thing is that they took the 29th and 30th ranked teams, beat the third place alliance and almost beat the second place alliance, which is really impressive,” said said Pike. “We were among the highest level of competition there. It was an incredible event to watch.
“I’m so excited to see how successful they have been,” he added.