After many years with FIRST Lego League (FLL), Lex has moved up to the big leagues! FLL is for kids in grades 4-8 and the next step FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is for grades 9-12. He joined the team for pre-season this fall and has been loving it ever since. The season officially kicked off in January and they had their first competition this weekend. They are Team 95 – The Grasshoppers!
Lex has spent most of his time on the robot construction (versus programming or driving). He comes home after practices and tells me about the problems they came across and how they solved them. He loves it! At the competition he helped with repairs between matches, and scouted the other teams to help determine who they wanted to partner with for the second day.
The team took a bus to the event after school on Thursday. Alan drove down that night, checked into the hotel, and watched the event on Friday. Eve and I went down Friday after school and watched the event live on Saturday. We all enjoyed watching it live streaming on Twitch when we couldn’t be there in person! :)
I couldn’t help noticing that the other teams had lots more swag than our team has. Flags and banners and buttons and signs. Eve and I immediately got to work planning for the next event. At the beginning of the season I offered to help with their website. They immediately took me up on the offer. I think I have PR/Marketing in my blood. :)
The Grasshoppers were knocked out of the competition in the semi-finals because one of their alliance teams knocked over an opponents robot. There was some debate about how intentional the action was and how top heave the opponent’s robot was, but the judges ruled it a foul and they got no points for the round. It was sad. I heard lots of grumbling from the parents (myself included), but nothing from the kids. Lex had nothing but positive things to say. I was impressed!
When the award ceremony came, the kids weren’t sure if they’d get anything since they didn’t make it past the semi-finals. Everyone has excited when they won the Industrial Design Award and the judges mentioned the “singular,” a specific part of the Grasshoppers’ robot that had impressed them.
The team has another meet in two weeks, and a third (if they qualify) in April. I’ve already designed some buttons to have available for the next meet! Lots of other teams were giving out buttons and our team had none. However, our team did give out a package of Keebler Grasshopper cookies to each team. :) Apparently that’s a tradition.