Scrimmage Maerlant 28th of January 2018
The last weekend of January was a busy one for the Tech Team. On Friday, our school was open to public and children from primary schools in the area visited us to see whether or not our school would be their future school-to-be. As soon as our regular lessons finished, we got to work on Luigi, knowing very well our robot had to perform in its first scrimmage on Sunday! From as early as 2 in the afternoon up until around 7 we worked on Luigi, our software, and of course a good presentation for the younger children coming to school in the evening. At 7, Brenda relieved us from our work (sweat on our brows indeed) with French Fries and snacks. Laughing yet discussing our plans at the same time, our team really feels like a family now! Around half past 8 the children came in and flooded around our DIY-playing field (made by Julia and her grandpa from spare plywood!). We gave demonstrations, talked with them about the FTC, our school and discussed how they thought we could adapt our robot to do more. All in all we had great evening and we were incredibly happy to see the crowd of awestruck children at the face of Luigi. On Saturday we were up early again for another day where school was open to public. Yet again we were happy to see such a young and keen crowd.
And even on our precious last day of the weekend all of us got up early in the morning. We met up with our mentors Cindy and Bas and we drove up to Maerlant Lyceum in The Hague, since they were so nice as to organise a scrimmage for us and 7 other teams! Our planning being sharp as always (thanks Bram!) we arrived slightly too early, with slightly meaning almost an hour too early. Despite waiting in front of the entrance and it being slightly too cold for comfort, we enjoyed goofing around and playing football with a tennis ball Bas had in the back of his car.
The Scrimmage itself went amazing, and we are very proud to announce that in our first ever competitive setting, and even the first time Luigi ever entered a real playing field, we took the victory home, losing only 1 match of the 12 we played! Bram and Tomás, with the experience of maybe 2 hours of driving Luigi, managed to work together both with each other as well as their alliance partners. Max programmed a functioning Autonomous period code in less that 30 minutes before the scrimmage, which made us the very first team ever to complete a full autonomous period in the entire scrimmage. It wasn’t until later in the tournament that other teams caught up and used the same strategy. Just before the final even, Max adjusted our code so we could earn another 20 points extra, a feat which later made us win the finals! In the semi-finals and the finals we chose BroBots from Utrecht as our partners in crime and with their help managed to win the finals, a best of 3, 2 to 1.
Of course victory is something to aim for when taking part in our first scrimmage, but we are even more happy with the amazing community we have now finally met in person. We talked with many teams, discussing problems, finding solutions and laughing along the way. Team Pink from Maerlant gave us some good insights for our trip to Detroit, with their experience of past years and them going next year they were able to give us a few valuable hints. As a team we know this is the start of a great cooperation between our two teams. Steam-Up, the organiser of FTC in The Netherlands, was also present during the scrimmage and after a conversation with Team Captain Wendel have given us some great tips regarding our community work, engineering notebook and team presentation which we can put to good use in the United States later this year. Their tips and tricks were so valuable because they have been judges for FTC awards for a long time now. We duly noted all their insights down and are even more eager to get started on the rest of the season!
Overall, this weekend has been a great “official” start to this season. With the first 2 days being a great gateway for younger children to see what our school offers with both FLL and FTC programs and of course the last day in which we could show The Netherlands we mean serious business this season!
There is much more to come ...