Congrats to Team 1325 GTA West

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.

My apologies to the Red Devils, I posted their team number as 1444 instead of 1334 in my previous post.

As a member of team 1334, I can say that team 1325 was not an accidental alliance selection. We too saw that this team and this bot had a lot of soul in it and chose it accordingly.

After having been on an alliance, and making it all the way to the finals with 1325, I can safely say that this team is nothing short of exceptional. When people say “it’s not about the bot or the competition” they are absolutely correct. In the case of 1325, their teamwork, die-hard spirit, and genuine love for robotics makes them a champion team. During the elemination rounds, not once did thier drive team hesistate, or show any sign of doubt in their partners. Their attitude is something to envy. On behalf of team 610, we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endevours. It was a pleasure to have stood behind the glass with you.

I’m a former team member of 1325, now at UWaterloo (ECE) and I spent some time with the team at the Waterloo regional. It was so exhilarating to see the students working hard on the robot.

Graydon Robotics was an amazing experience me. I think it’s the mentors and the students’ attitude to the project. I want to recognize the longtime teacher sponsor Mr. Gould for his continued dedication to the team. He’s calm, thoughtful and believes you can do it. He lets the students try, make mistakes and only steps in when needed. He doesn’t tell the team what to do, but he’s not afraid to work long hours with you if you need it.

1325 also has a new teacher sponsor Mr. Balcita. He’s new to the school but got right into the project. I talked with him a bit and it’s clear he gets the value of FIRST. The students really look up to him.

What I like most about 1325 is how the team is run. It’s students that touch the robot. Students in the pits, drilling, cutting, programming, testing, coaching, designing, managing and teaching new students. The mentors are always there but encourage the students to make it their own.

It’s a huge pride to the team when they come out on the field with the bot because they know they built it. I think it’s this pride that makes team 1325 what it is. It’s this knowledge that they’ve put their sweat and tears into this machine and it’s really freaking cool.

Congratulations Team 1325 for another awesome job!

I am a current member of team 1325 and I would like to say thank you for posting this.

In our team we really do try and do everything ourselves (the students) and always remind ourselves of the first principles. So when we were chosen for the first time ever in the team selection we were all ecstatic.

So thank you to our alliance members and thank you to whoever wrote this, and a HUGE thank you to our team’s drive team/team execs because without them this would not be possible at all

As a teacher and mentor I would like to send a special thank you to 610 and 1334 for choosing us as your third alliance member. There were many other teams you could have chosen and you chose us. On behalf of 1325, We are very greatful. Thank you.

After having competed in the trenches with 610 and 1334, I now understand why 610 and 1334 were so successful in the qualifying matches. They had a dedicated crew who knew exactly what their individual roles were and it was obvious that they excelled at executing their roles. These two teams were two of the very few that were able to consistently score in autonomous mode. During the teleoperated mode, their drivers had full control of their robots and they executed strategy to a tee.

Once again thank you for choosing us as alliance partners but more importantly, thank you for allowing us to learn from two top rated teams. I am sure 610 and 1334 will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. With a little bit of hard work (ok, a lot of hard work), we will strive to attain their level of excellence in the years to come.