Sunday, December 2, 2018

Robot Revolution and The Brainstormers Compete

The state coordinator did me a favor and allowed us to change our second qualifier for The Brainstormers to the same one Robot Revolution was going to - the purpose was for the older kids to effectively walk them through the process, to support them.

Getting ready to go to competition, their robot was looking
Moving to the competition field in their new quarter zips
with the FTC number on it - a reward for working so hard
Now there were some rumblings.  It was likely that Brainstormers would finish first and thus be able to pick a partner for the eliminations.  As my strategy son starting thinking - they realized that they could ride that all the way to Worlds.  In fact, we knew another team in another state that had done that with their junior team.  But John and I realized fast this was a no-go.  We got the kids together and told them they had to earn their spots the hard way.  The kids on these FTC teams are there for four years and would remember everything if they got a free pass.  If The Brainstormers picked them as a partner - it had to be because it was the only plainly obvious choice to everyone in the room.

So we went to the competition and it was the second most fun competition I have ever been to.  My youngest team had no expectations - for God's sake they had started building four weeks before!  And the oldest team was ranked #1 in the world and had already qualified for the state championship.  They were there to get practice.  The field was full of teams we knew well and the storyline spread fast through the bleachers - to the point where the audience was actually cheering for our team of midgets, they were becoming fan favorites that day.

I was shamelessly taking photos as they came up against each other - can you imagine that?  Both my teams across the field from each other in the only mathematical way that could ever have happened.  of course, The Brainstormers won.  Then Robot Revolution went up against the local high school team... yes that one in the earlier posts, also one of the top in the state.  In the end of the qualifying rounds we realized that their performance was in the top 20% - that if they hadn't gone up against the two top teams in the state, they would have been one of the four captains!  OMG.

So Brainstormers were Captain #1 and true to form, they chose the local high school team as their partner as it was the obvious choice instead of their siblings.  Several coaches actually came up to me bewildered - why didn't they pick Robot Revolution and thus automatically pass them on to the state championship.  I explained why and they shook their head telling me they didn't know if they could have been so principled.  But that stuff matters and we all know it does.  But in a huge shock - they were picked by a different team.  And as my husband says - that meant more to them as it was on their merit, not relationships.

So in the semi-finals it was The Brainstormers and 2Bits and a Byte against Robot Revolution and their partner.  WOW.  Again the camera came out.  But what is hilarious is the video recording of two matches of that elimination round.  It was Goliath against David.... and the crowd knew it and knew the three teams were related - and they all rooted full throated for Robot Revolution.  And the hand gestures of good natured ribbing between brothers and sisters across the field was fun and really got the crowd going.

Before the matches - I overheard my youngest son and his team conferring.  They KNEW The Brainstormers and their strategy and they started discussing some moves that were on the edge - attack the weakness.  I got them together and gave them my speech about playing above board always - nothing shady and had to remind them of a few game rules they weren't familiar with.  I had to laugh that they were so intent on beating them but they played clean and lost with honor.

It was a good day as you can see by the smiles.

And Robot Revolution's season was done.  And we didn't know at the time - but it was the last time "Robot Revolution" as a team name would be used.

Getting ready to go head to head in the semi-finals - each brother caring for their robot.
My two teams - head to head.  My two sons each on a side captaining their team and driving
The only time they will ever be in competition together

No comments:

Post a Comment