Back Again!

After a three month hiatus, we’re back in the swing of things! School has started up and so has robotics season.

One of our summer activities was Adopt a Highway. We now clean Highway 59 from CTH “X” (South) to STH 164 WB. Going forward we are going to go out once a month and clean this highway. 

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Another activity we did was the Les Paul 100th Anniversary celebration. We set up our tent and demonstrated Aether from 2013 and Gaia from 2015. Earlier in the summer we also attended the county fair where we demonstrated these robots as well.

STEM Demonstration

So far this off-season, CORE has done at least one outreach event per week. We hope to continue this throughout the summer to ensure that we are truly making a difference in the community. Today, six CORE members went to the Saratoga STEM Academy to talk to middle school students and discuss some of their areas of expertise. In the hour long session, STEM students were encouraged to talk with everyone from CORE to get detailed explanations of what we do.

 

Whereas many of our demonstrations focus upon giving students basic exposure to robotics and inspiring them to consider STEM fields, this demonstration was unique in that we had time to answer more detailed questions. CORE members had a great time talking about complex engineering processes with these motivated, and highly intelligent students. We look forward to hopefully seeing some of them on our team in the future!

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Blair Flair

Last week Thursday we demonstrated our robot at the Blair Flair event, which celebrated the 125th anniversary of Blair elementary school. We brought out our 2014 robot Hermes for playing catch as well as showed off this year’s robot, Gaia. Along with our FRC robots we also had our VEX robots out for students to drive.


 

Hillcrest and Bright Lights

It has been another busy off-season week for CORE. This Tuesday we attended the annual Hillcrest Ice Cream Social and demonstrated two different FRC robots, as well as several VEX bots. The kids from Hillcrest all had a great time completing challenges and learning the controls for both types of robots. In addition, CORE members had fun explaining what robotics is and interacting with the younger students. It is always amazing to see the awe on a child’s face and be reminded of just how extraordinary what we do really is.

 

That reminder was especially important to our team this week as we spoke at a Bright Lights presentation for the school board, telling them about CORE and robotics. The three CORE presenters gave a 10 minute speech which described not only what our team has done this season, but also the organization through which we compete (FIRST), our community impact, and our mission. In addition, these presenters were supported by several other members and mentors who all came to watch and help answer questions. Overall, the presentation went incredibly well. The board members all reacted positively and gave a variety of insightful comments. In addition, the meeting was broadcast throughout Waukesha, making it an incredible opportunity to spread awareness about our team.

STEM For Girls

It’s already the second event of the off-season and we’re doing great! Our first event we participated in the MPTV Auction last Saturday. Many of us volunteered to help answer phones and submit bids, while some of us went on TV and showed off item for sale.  It was super fun and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Today we showed off our 2014 robot Hermes and this year’s robot Gaia at the annual STEM For Girls event. STEM For Girls brings in elementary and middle school girls who are interested in the STEM field and allows them to further explore their interests through demonstrations. CORE 2062 was a main attraction as we demonstrated our Hermes robot from last year.

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We hope to do STEM For Girls again next year to get girls and new members interested in joining FRC and other FIRST programs.

Championships Day 4

Our team arrived back in Waukesha feeling happy and exhausted at 2:30 this morning. It has been an incredible weekend and an incredible season. We could not be more proud of all the hard work we have put in and the growth we have accomplished as a team.

 

This weekend we made it to the quarterfinals in our division, placing eighth out of over seventy teams from around the world. In addition we are thrilled and honored to have been awarded the UL Industrial Safety Award at the international level. Congratulations to Lexus Stokes, our Safety Captain, for directing this program, and for winning Star of the Day at Championships.

 

Despite this success, coming home is a bittersweet feeling. For four months, this team has been a family, meeting for over 15 hours a week, eating together, laughing together, and working together. We have formed meaningful friendships, gained new skills, and created a special community where everyone is allowed to be incredible. Together, we have each grown and accomplished things we never thought possible.

 

After this point, we will continue to meet and prepare for next year, however meetings will be less frequent and the thrill of build season has officially passed. That being said, we look forward to everything we will be able to do this summer and throughout next year’s season.

 

Championships Day 3

It has been another exciting day at internationals. We are thrilled to be meeting teams from around the world, and making new friends. Walking through the pit, which holds around 600 FRC teams, there seems to be no end of people who are just like us: enthusiastic, tired, and in love with robotics.

 

As it was the final day of  qualification matches, we have finished the mass data collection system we simply call “scouting.” After scouting every team, for two days in row, and in over 100 matches, we are not quite sure whether or not we will miss creating the reports, or feel relived that our job is done.

 

We are also proud of our safety captain, Lexus Stokes, for receiving Star of the Day. This award is based upon peer nomination and it serves to recognize her exemplary work with safety. Lexus also received this award at the Wisconsin Regional this year, however it is a huge honor to be recognized at the international level.

 

Today was a long, busy day, but we appreciate every minute knowing that tomorrow we will be the last day of this season.

 

After our final match today we were ranked 27th in our division (two places higher than we were yesterday). This is a little dissapponting because we know we could do better, however it is not a bad place to be. We hope to be picked at alliance selection tomorrow and compete for as long as possible!

Championships Day 2

As anticipated, today was thrilling, filled with excitement and surprises. We met hundreds of new people from across the world and enjoyed being able to connect with old friends. Students from all subteams were at the top of their game today, whether they were fixing the robot, scouting other teams, talking to judges, doing safety demos, or any number of other critical tasks.

 

Still, some circumstances were not quite so happy. We have been spoiled this season by having a nearly invincible robot which almost never seems to break. Today we encountered various mechanical issues, including broken limit switches and encoder mounts, however through preventative maintenance we were able to deal with most of the problems before they became a serious issue. Our scores were not as high as we had hoped this morning, and we are currently ranked 29th in our subdivision. Still this is not a bad place to be. We look forward to continued improvement tomorrow.

 

One of the most phenomenal parts of FIRST is the atmosphere of gracious professionalism and how fun this makes the entire competition. It is always incredible to talk to other teams and hear about their aproach to this challenge or simply dance and have a great time with them in the pits. At the end of the day today, FIRST conducted an opening ceremony for teams at all four levels of championships (Jr. FLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC). There we truly got to experience what a huge organization FIRST is and the incredible impact it has had. Now, after dinner and and a short end meeting, students have settled down to get some much-needed sleep for tomorrow’s competition.

Championships Day 1

Today has been a busy and thrilling whirlwind of activity. We began our journey at 7:00 after a brief team meeting, then took a six hour drive down to St. Louis. There, the load-in crew prepared our robot for practice matches while the rest of the team got settled in at the hotel. It wasn’t until 5:00 that other team members were allowed into the pits to help set up our area, interact with teams, and finish preparations for today’s practice matches. We quickly passed inspection and not long after, had our pit set up. In addition, we have already interacted with a variety of teams from around the world.

 

The sheer number of people and teams here is staggering. There are seemingly endless rows of pits, and eight separate divisions of competition. Each of these divisions contains more teams than either of our two regionals. Competition is sure to be tough, but we are still proud of all the work we have put in and confident in our abilities as a team.

 

During our practice matches we encountered a few difficulties. We lost communication between drivers and the robot during the first match, and our “bump” mechanism completely broke during the second. We are confident that the first problem has been resolved, however it will take more time to fix the “bump” mechanism.

 

Tomorrow begins the first day of qualification matches. Each match is crucially important to our team. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and here on our website to stay updated on this intense, dramatic, and fun journey!

Championships

After months of hard work, CORE is finally ready for Championships! We can’t wait to meet the other teams and compete against the best robots in the world. Six hundred teams representing 46 states and 11 countries will be attending this championship event. CORE is thrilled to represent Waukesha in this elite group of teams.

 

Tomorrow we will leave early in the morning and take a six hour bus ride to St. Louis. There, we will participate in practice matches to get ready for qualifications the next day. After winning two regionals with one of the most robust robots we have ever created, we honestly believe that our team has never been so well prepared for an international competition.

 

 

To follow us at competition, go to http://championship.usfirst.org/. You can also find pictures and updates from the competition on our facebook page and on twitter.

 

Stay tuned for further updates! It is sure to be a thrilling weekend!

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