In 2008, we went to the Blackstone Valley Tech Qualifier, but did not do very well. The maximum table score was 65, but we did win the Innovative Solution award for the Research Project. However, we were lucky enough to be able to attend the Quincy qualifier just two weeks later, where, after frantically changing robots and spending countless hours camped in the coach’s basement (where the robots were) building and programming, we won the Runner Up Champion’s Award! This award qualified us for the Massachusetts State Competition.
At the state competition, after rebuilding our robot to have a slower yet more powerful gear ratio (3:5, instead of 1:5), we did reasonably well in the robot performance, teamwork, and technical judging categories, and exceptionally well in the project category, and because of this, we were awarded the Runner Up Champion’s Award, which qualified us for the FLL World Festival in Atlanta!
Before going to Atlanta, we changed the robot design to a design with interchangeable chassis. In Atlanta, we received an unusual amount of attention from the judges, especially in the teamwork and technical judging categories. At one table run, there were three pairs of technical judges watching us and asking questions about our robot. The teamwork judges also watched us, and at one point even asked us to spell “teamwork” with carrots. (Actually, they asked us to use whatever was on our table, and we found carrots to be the most useful item).
At the end of the competition, the team received the 2nd Place Quality Design Award!