Your Best FIRST Experience

So… What was yours?

I think mine definitely had to be winning the Engineering Inspiration award at the Western Michigan Regional last year with 573. It happened to be my first year in FIRST, and the first year that the guys’ school took their sister school into the team. We came together beautifully during the season while forging long-lasting friendships.

During our matches at that regional, we weren’t doing that well at all… But we didn’t let the down spirit get the best of us as we normally would in our everyday lives. We were eager to show what we had learned during the season and to share the great experiences we had.

I’m glad a best thread got sarted but I think we should restrict it to anything except awards because that might be most team’s best experience.

Though our team won a few things this year, my best experience has to be the time I spent at nationals. I had so much fun walking around the pits and the Georgia Dome, meeting all sorts of neat people. The cool thing about FIRST is that you don’t have to win anything to have fun. Even as we sat in the Curie stands, ranked 53 out of 73, waiting for the alliance selection to be over so we could go home (unaware that anyone would be crazy enough to pick us), I had already decided that this was the most fun I’d ever had. Getting the chance to continue competing was just icing on the cake.

This whole rookie season was an incredible experience. When I sat down with our team to start planning after the kickoff webcast, I thought there was no way that we were going to have anything even remotely impressive in six weeks. Not only did we manage to perform reasonably well, but our robot never once broke down or tipped over, something I am immensely proud of. (We did manage to snap a piece of Lexan in half, but we were half-expecting it, and it didn’t affect our performance.) And of course, I can’t forget mentioning getting to watch our coach getting a mohawk. In the last few months, I’ve gained so much from FIRST that it’s hard to single out one great experience.

Yeah. Good idea.

My best experience: The team unity that we had that year :smiley: . And the way we were able to overcome differences this year.

My best FIRST experience has to be this year, my senior year on the team. I was chosen as team leader and my job was to make sure the team succeeded in their goals. One specific experience that i thought was great was when our team mentored a rookie team and I was there to guide them. Its an awesome feeling seeing people look up to you. Also, as team leader, i was in charge of the chairmans award, our first year applying for it, as well as the Woodie Flowers award, which me and 3 other ppl wrote together. Then at regionals, it all came together. First, on friday, the rookie team we mentored won the Rookie Inspiration Award, followed by our mentor for which we wrote the essay, won the Woodie Flowers Award. The next day, our robot placed third overall, and then the rookie team we mentored won the Rookie All-Star award AND the Rookie Highest Seed award, in total, they won ALL 3 rookie awards. And lastly as the competition ended, we won the Chairmans award. Those three days were absolutely unbelievable.

My favorite moment was the second day at the 2003 Buckeye regional when all of the Rochester teams started screaming out their Rochester New York chant.
That was fun. :slight_smile:

Great thread! I’m sure everyone has many great experiences to contribute.

My best FIRST experience happens once a year at the same time. During our team’s end of the year banquet students present letters to the mentors on the team. Each student writes letters to those mentors who have impacted them the most throughout the last several years. Every year I go home with the letters they’ve written to me and I can’t help but get a little misty when I read them. To read about the impact I have had on these students and the fact that it is from them personally makes these letters the highlight of my season every season.

Thanks to all the students from team 93 who have written such moving letters. YOU are why I do this FIRST thing year after year!

AKA Schuff-man

For me its a bit of a hard pick for my best FIRST experience (and Ive only been at it for a year :yikes: ), but its either going out and watching the robot being built and helping out where I could, or its was the first practice game of the FL regionals (in which my team was in). I was just amazed at how much excitment there was and how cool it was to watch all the robots and see how they all played the game.
But thats just so far, I think there are plenty of more great first experiences to come.

Mine would have to be last year, during our first match as we were allied with 696 at SoCal. We tipped both of the opposing robots, and got the best score of the day and held first place for some two hours. Just the adrenaline rush when we tipped those robots was awesome enough to make it my best experience.

Hey, that’s totally awesome. I remember that match. We had done some serious flipping in Phoenix but it was cool when we took both 'em down in our first match. Thanks for being allies. It really was a great feeling when each of us held first place for a while. Other team’s were just swarming our pits weren’t they. :slight_smile: :cool:

Yeah, that was great. Were you in the drive crew or did you watch from the stands? I was the Human Player then.

Personally, my favorite one was during Palmetto. It was our seventh match, and we were paired with (looks) 271 against 168 and 1319 (at the time, the #1 seed. They also won top rookie seed). This match went down right after we took off our arm, which wasn’t doing us much good. I don’t know how the guys did it, but they pulled off an 80-30 upset. (It also gave birth to the catch-phrase “Team 1293: Armless, not harmless!”) The buzz lasted exactly ten matches, until we were defeated again by 393 and 780. (That match, we were paired with the RoboCards, who became the top seed. Funny how that happens, huh?)

It’s hard to narrow it down to one best experiance. This was my first year in robotics, my teams second year.The whole season was awsome. My first regional, Detriot, was crazy. We drove to Wayne State everyday from our school wich was about an hour away. I didn’t do much at that regional because I was just trying to adjust to the FIRST compition atmosphere. Grand Rapids was a different story. Our transmissions broke down so many times, the people in the machine shop knew who i was. In case you didn’t know, we have a plantary gear system transmission, it has two moters a bosch and cim, the cim is our main and when the bosch is kicked in, we’re fast :smiley: Anyway, this past year has been a great experiance

My best FIRST experience? There are a lot… Watching the webcast of our team winning the Championships at Epcot in 2002 (and wishing I was there!)… riding a Segway for the first time at Bash at the Beach in 2003… hearing our essay “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in FIRST” being read aloud by the emcee at the Mid-Atlantic Regional in 2004… receiving a really nice thank-you card from the Chairman’s Award committee that I mentored at the UTC New England Regional in 2004… and recently, starting FIRST NEMO so that mentors like myself can share ideas with each other… but the absolute BEST FIRST experience I get comes every year when I see the impact of the FIRST program on our students. That’s priceless!

its so hard to pick one experiance which i would call the best. the whole FIRST experiance has been great. ceremonies in orlando, with that wonderful corus singing all the national anthems… before releasing the doves; running thorugh epcot trying to make it back in time for our next match; walking out on mandy moore to go to the party; getting cramps in my leg from the ramps in houston; winning regionals… getting awards; moon bounces at regional parties; hypnotists; ypsilanti, grand rapids, pittsburgh, orlando, houston, atlanta;

all of these memories, along with the time spent building the robot itself, all come together to create an experiances that only FIRST can provide.

My favorite FIRST moments haven’t come from any competitions or during travel, they were all in our workshop (team members’ parents’ garage), around 2AM during the last two weekends before the ship date. I would stay late, work on the bot, talk about the robot and the game with another weary eyed person, and nearly fall asleep wrenching or wiring something. Those were the days… :rolleyes:

The days of nationals gave me some of the best memories of my life thus far. FIRST will be an unforgettable experience for sure.

The BEST FIRST Experience…

Taking over a small city (Grand Rapids), finding nerds EVERYWHERE, then
taking over a HUGE city (Atlanta, GA), finding geeks EVERYWHERE, and at both cities, trying to get small groups of people to respond to our 'AY!" It was fun all day and all night till the very last hour of the very last day of competition. Too sweet! :cool:

For me, I would have to say the entire Phoenix regional in 2003. It was totally awesome. The regional still is just as awesome, it’s just this year our robot wasn’t quite as much.

My best FIRST experience has to be qualifying for Nationals in 2002. We started the year with a shoestring budget, no place to work, and not qualified for Nats. Through incredible teamwork and dedication, we managed to pull everything together, win the Buckeye Regional, and qualify to attend Nationals. Hands down, that was my best FIRST experience ever.

If you want to know more, check out my FIRST Historians story, “A Special Championship”, about the subject: