Wow! The new season is already here! Although kick-off is over, we still have all of the challenges that it gave us. This year’s game challenge is called STEAMworks, here is a link for the game’s video. In this exciting game, robots will complete three main tasks: feeding gears to the airship, shooting fuel into a boiler, and climbing a rope.

First, the robot must feed gears to an airship which will be used by human players to make the propellers in the airship spin to earn points. The robot also must shoot fuel, or hollow balls, into a boiler to make everything run. The fuel may be retrieved from a hopper at the side of the field or picked up off of the floor. Finally, the robot must climb a rope to trip a lighted sensor at the top. To help us get started, we we got the kit of parts that corresponds with the game.

Something else that our team is participating in is the Fed-Ex Media Challenge, in which teams post photos or videos to Instagram or Twitter in response to four separate challenges. Our team is posting our things on Instagram. The challenges are judged on team spirit, creativity, adhering to the rules, and the number of likes or retweets. The winner receives a $5,000 grant as well as a Robo-Rio and Labview software.

The first challenge is the team’s initial reaction to the kit of parts, which our team presented as a mannequin challenge. Other challenges include a steampunked version of our team’s logo, a video of FIRST alumni talking about how first has impacted them, and a picture or video of the answer of in extremely hard math story problem. We need you to go on Instagram and look up our team and like our mannequin challenge and alumni videos. Also stay tuned for our team’s posting of the steampunked logo challenge and the math story problem challenge.

Finally, we are really proud of our team’s programming mentor, Stefan Brandle, who was recently interviewed by NPR about his work in cybersecurity at Taylor University. You can listen to that interview here! Stefan teaches at Taylor and we are proud to have him on our team mentoring our students as they learn how to program our team’s robots.

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Kick-Off and the Challenges It Brought

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