Bullock Creek’s robot
(3770) in the middle of competition.
By Michael Boman
The FIRST Robotics Competition is new to Bullock Creek High School. The purpose of the competition combine dedicated and enthusiastic students, teachers, engineers and other professionals in the design and fabrication of a robot to perform tasks all in a six week period.
According to the First Robotics Competition's website the goal of the program is to “assimilates teams, sponsors, colleges and technical professionals with high school students to develop their solution to a prescribed engineering challenge in a competitive game environment. The competitions, combine the practical application of science and technology with the fun, intense energy and excitement of a championship-sporting event. The program results in life-changing, career molding experiences for its participants and is a lot of fun.”
According to Susan Doud the team's head advisor the game changes every year. This means that a new robot has to be designed and fabricated every year to meet the challenges of that year's competition. When I asked her about what this year's game she replied “In the six weeks allotted for building of our robot, the team has built a machine that picks up basketballs from the floor can shoot and make baskets, can push a ramp down, balance on a teeter-totter and can cross a barrier Dukes of Hazzard style.” Clearly there are multiple elements to the competition that is why teamwork is encouraged towards reaching individual team goals during the competition.
The first round of competition was held several weeks ago at Waterford. There the team placed sixteenth out of forty teams. This earned them to move on to the second round at Northville. While performing well in the second round the gear box, apparently defective from the manufacturer, failed. However, the team still beat out thirty nine other teams that day. While the failure of the gear box could have dampened the spirit the team brought home the trophy for the Northville District Team Spirit Award. This was a great end to the competition season for the team.
This brings up a great point of an idea surrounding the competition. That is the phrase gracious professionalism. Unlike most competitions where there is winners and losers, in the First Robotics Competition no one leaves feeling like they have lost. Gracious professionalism can best be described as being able to “compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process...that knowledge, pride and empathy are comfortably blended” according to the FIRST website.
This was the second year that Bullock Creek High School students have participated in the competition. The team more that doubled in size in its second season with approximately forty students participating. This allowed for a more sophisticated robot that was able to perform in each of the challenges of this year's game. Continued growth of students and sponsors is expected as work on next years competition is already on its way.
Bullock Creek’s robot (3770) in the middle of competition.
Monday, May 21, 2012
By Michael Boman
Bullock Creek Robotics Competition Gaining Momentum