Article Submitted by: Piper Sondreal
The day was in full swing when we arrived at the Williams Arena at 7:45 this morning. Our ambassadors toured VIPs, including sponsors, business representatives, and government officials, around the two arenas (Williams and Mariucci) explaining to them what exactly FIRST Robotics is, who is our team, and why this activity is so important for the future. Some VIPS that our team members chaperoned include University of Minnesota Dean of Engineering Mostafa Kaveh and our region’s State Senator Mark Johnson. Team members explained the various aspects of FIRST including this years game, the robots, outreach, and our STEM center. They were all so intrigued with our robot, our passion and impact, and the STEM knowledge that our team members reflected. Also, our safety was noticed by others as our team was voted best pit safety and were awarded candy prizes for our pit checklist. The Chairman’s team did their presentation in front of the judges and felt that it was one of the best presentations followed by questions they’ve had. Tons of pairs of judges came to our pit all day long to talk about our robot and our team. This puts us up for winning various awards given by FIRST, such as Excellence in Engineering and the Imagery Award. Throughout the day, qualification matches took place. We were paired in difficult alliances and lots of defense was played against us, but we were able to sustain a place in the top 8 and ended our day ranked 3rd. One of our team members, along with a student from 1816, had the opportunity to escort Minnesota Governor Tim Walz around the two FIRST regionals taking place here in Minneapolis. The Governor and his posse learned about this years game, the different components of robotics, outreach, and why these children involved in FIRST are going to change the world. Tim Walz mentioned that the atmosphere at these FIRST events was unlike any other sports competition he’s attended. He said that at sports events, such as hockey, half of the crowd is sad when their team loses. But at FIRST Robotics competitions, when someone else wins, it feels like a win for everyone and you can feel it all throughout the arena. And that’s what FIRST Robotics is exactly. Tomorrow is the big day, when we see how our presentations went and complete for the 10,000 Lakes Regional Championship!!