While I’ve posted a number of postings recently, I wanted to take the time and say another hello to all of my fellow forum members as well as to all of the new members who are probably where I was last year as a first year Mentor and teacher.
This is Panthrobotics 3rd year, but our second year under myself and our other coach. I just wanted to let all those who are just getting started know that by the middle of this you may want to quit. I was convinced by the end of the fall that I wanted to drop this robotics thing and start a ball-room dancing club (seriously - I had offers from a group that taught ball-room dancing). We didn’t have enough funds, couldn’t pay the registration fee, and I thought we were done.
JCPenney came through for us and we were able to register. At the kickoff at Stennis Space Center I got excited and then we started building. By the middle of build season I was questioning my sanity, sleep schedule, and started dusting up on my waltz again.
Then we packed and shipped and raised enough funds to carpool to the Bayou Regional. We took about ten students with us. While it was exciting at first - we were a bit without vision as to how to participate. Some of our members left early because they didn’t know what to do. I told the other coach that this would probably be the last we would see of our Robotics team.
With the help of our amazing alliance members we won the Bayou Regional. I cannot possibly express to anyone the thrill of watching those last seven games. To first be chosen on one of the top two alliances and then to win against some of the strongest competition at the entire event (Team 456 was amazing) was the most exciting thing that I or my students have ever done. Most of our video this past year was unfortunately messed up from all of the jumping and screaming that either I did - not counting the times that I was being shaken by the other coach.
If that weren’t enough, we raised the other 15k we needed to go to World Championship and we got to play with and against some amazing teams. This year - I am ready. So - when you feel like quitting, please don’t. When everything breaks and your team gets angry and when funds seem dry - just find a way to make it work. In the end, there is nothing like FIRST.
Oh - and last year we had 15 members. This year, at our first Informational meeting we had over 45 show up.