This past weekend, the X-Cats competed in the FIRST International Robotics Competition. There were over 600 teams from over 40 countries participating in the 2016 FIRST Robotics competition with a crowd of 40,000+ people. In our division of 75 robots, our team ranked 52nd. We have done better, but we have a lot to be proud of. We have a very young drives team that can take this experience and build on it for a few more years.
We dug ourselves into a hole early, and had a long road of trying to climb our way out. All Xerox teams eventually put on a great showing. The greater Rochester area has a lot to be proud of. We had two teams from the greater Rochester area in the finals together!!! (Charles Finney and Spencerport). It was a hard fought battle that will be remembered for years to come, but the alliance team that ultimately won came from Hermosa Beach, California, Tremont, Illinois, Cleveland, Ohio, and Glen Allen, Virginia. There were some absolutely incredible robots seen over the weekend. The students were able to see similar designs accomplish the same tasks. They were also able to see a few robots whose designs were truly unique.
As far as our students were concerned, they were incredible. We are fortunate enough to work with some of the best and brightest students in our district. The kids had an opportunity to speak to vendors about colleges, scholarships, and careers. They got a chance to mingle with celebrities that support STEM: Will.I.Am, and FIRST’s famous inventor, Dean Kamen. Last year we brought 16 students from RCSD to the finals, this year we had 22 students that were eligible to travel. Our goal is to make our program grow and reach even more students next year.
Our impact was on high display in St. Louis. As mentors, we were thrilled to see their excitement and growth, and know that we were able to have an impact on these students’ lives. Three of our former students, who are now college grads, were in St. Louis with a team that made it to the Semifinals, so this weekend was truly a win all the way around. We were also able to travel with another Xerox team for the first time as we watched one of their students do an incredible performance of the National Anthem. We had a great time with TanX Robotics from Canandaigua NY. Xerox sponsored SparX were amazing as usual, and special congratulations go to Xerox Sponsored team 3015 Ranger Robotics from Spencerport!! They were finalists.
Creativity Awards. This year Xerox gave some of the mentors the pleasure of presenting 4 fortunate teams with the Xerox Creativity Award. It was truly an honor to represent Xerox on the field as we presented the awards.
A few people have asked about pictures. If you wish to view them, please feel free to click the link shown below. It represents our 2016 season starting with our 25 year anniversary dinner, and ends with our trip to the Championship in St. Louis.
FIRST Site featuring a picture of last year’s X-Cats drive team: http://www.firstchampionship.org/
We would like to thank everyone for asking about the competition, and we would like to thank Xerox & RCSD for their ongoing support of our FIRST Robotics Team!We also want to congratulate our X-Cat Senior Andie A. on her own special accomplishment, take a moment to watch and be sure to congratulate her on her full ride to Duke University next year.