Congrats are certainly due to Team 1325 (Gordon Graydon Memorial High School in Mississauga), a member of the alliance which included 1334 (corrected) and 610, that made it to the finals at the GTA West regional yesterday. They were beat by the juggernaut that was led by team 2056. Team 1325’s appearance in the final was accomplished by demonstrating the FIRST principals and values of Teamwork, Adaptability, Innovation and Determination. They are an inspiration to other small teams whose efforts are sometimes overlooked.
It’s quite a story really. 1325 is not a large team. They make it work with only a handful of full time members and several part-time. They don’t have a large budget nor do they have access to a lot of external resources like a machine shop. Although the team has competed since 2004, they don’t have a large cheering section at the competitions. They have a ton of spirit but they are somewhat humble in their application of it. They just go about their business and do the best they can with what they have.
The team made a concious decision early in the 2011 build season to essentially build their bot in house at the school workshop. It was to be entirely, their bot. At times this was extremely challenging since access to the school is limited and restricted during certain hours. This decision really put a strain on build time.
At the Waterloo Regionals they struggled to get anything going. In fact, leaving Waterloo things looked kind of bleak as the team had some major issues with their bot, it was non-functioning and the mini-bot, not up to spec.
The team came into the GTA West Regionals knowing they had to fix their bot and redesign the mini-bot. And they did just that. On Friday at the GTA West regionals they made a fateful decision to remove the robotic arm and adopt a completely defensive / mini-bot deployment strategy. The team knew they couldn’t score with game pieces without the arm, but they also knew they might make themselves attractive to other teams looking for defense.
Adapting to a new strategy, working as a team to implement it, re-designing the mini-bot and the entire deployment mechanism, team 1325 was determined to make the alliance selections this year. They were the second last team selected.
With the solid scoring capabilities of 1334 and 610 and the defense of 1325, the alliance made it to the final. In so doing, they demonstrated the importance of strategy and teamwork.
Team 1325 is an inspiration to many teams who might feel they don’t have the resources or the bot to compete. We’ve heard it many times, “it’s not about the bot or the competition”. In the case of 1325, the bot and their success in 2011 is a manifestation of the team’s work ethic and guiding principals. Congratulations to Team 1325 for living the values of FIRST and for their success at the 2011 GTA West Regional.