The 2019-2020 season of FTC Skystone is over.
We have had a varied season. We started with a largely new team, and 2 “old” members, namely Thomas and Merlijn. They were joined by 6 new members, Xander, Bart, Juul, Jelmer, Tim, and Louis. After the kick-off, we knew what the intention would be for this season, and it seemed like a big challenge. For the first time, Thomas would be programming the robot, as well as helping the rest of the team understand FTC and building the robot, along with Merlijn.
Of course, FTC isn’t just building and programming the robot. You also have to go after sponsors to get the finances for your team. This in order to be able to buy material that has to come from the USA, and to participate in competitions, etc. Approaching sponsors was experienced as very difficult by the entire team. You must also provide PR, advertising material, and most importantly: a robot that must do what it is asked according to the rules of the game. For the first 30 seconds, the robot has to perform tasks autonomously. That means pre-programmed and not controlled by a team member.
Collaboration and communication were also very important and that didn’t always work out well. That’s something we have to work on in the new season.
Fortunately, we were able to have a nice season, we went to the official kick-off, participated in the League meets, and performed well enough that we were even allowed to participate in the NK. We participated in scrimmages organized by other teams. We gave a demo with our robot at the Open Day at our school, and we were allowed to give a demo at the Benelux Championship of the First Lego League.
The highlight of the season was the trip to Barcelona, where we were allowed to participate in the Open Spanish FTC championships. We ended up in 10th place due to many connection problems, but we did win the Connect award, which stands for bringing FTC to the attention of other children, schools, and companies. Or as defined by the main organization of FTC F.I.R.S.T:
Connecting the dots between community, FIRST, and the diversity of the engineering world. This judged award is given to the team that most connects with their local science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) community. A true FIRST team is more than a sum of its parts and recognizes that engaging their local STEM community plays an essential part in their success. The recipient of this award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself. The team that wins the Connect Award aggressively seeks and recruits engineers and explores the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science and technology. This team has a clear team plan and has identified steps to achieve their goals.
Required criteria for the Connect Award:
• Team shows respect and Gracious
Professionalism® to everyone they meet at a
FIRST Tech Challenge event.
• Team must submit an engineering notebook. The
engineering notebook must include team plan that
identifies their future goals and the steps they will
take to reach those goals. Examples of what the
plan could include are fund-raising goals,
sustainability goals, timelines, outreach, and
community service goals.
• Team provides clear examples of developing in
person or virtual connections with individuals in
the engineering, science, or technology
• Team actively engages with the engineering
community to help them understand FIRST, the
FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself.
We were in Barcelona with the other 2 teams from our school, FTC Team Space and FTC Team Orange Orange was a finalist winner, so there was still a nice party afterward in Barcelona, and the Dutch teams present showed the other teams from all over the world show that we’re very good at celebrating parties, and rightly so, we worked hard, not everything worked out as we had hoped, but we learned a lot and still had many very pleasant moments with our own team, but also with all other teams.
When we came back from Barcelona we just managed to clean up for 1 afternoon and then everything was locked because of COVID-19, Corona. As a result, the big annual OFF-Season event could unfortunately not take place, and we as a team also couldn’t really say goodbye. Unfortunately, 3 of our members are going leaving. We would like to wish Bart, Tim, and Louis the best of luck in their new challenges and we hope you will come and have a look again. Thank you for a great season, in which we all learned a lot and gained great experiences.
You can watch the party here: https://youtu.be/3Ts1NtV2njY
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