After having to cancel the 2020 FTC season due to Covid, Code Red was excited for the return of our two FTC games in fall 2021. And what a robust restart it was. FIRST challenged us with the game Freight Frenzy that involved 25 different ways to score in a match. We also had a great response in participation with 18 students participating. This being our first year in our new build space at Byron Center High School, most of our students were from West Elementary in Byron Center. Over half of our students were former NRG students, coming from our own elementary program. We had a young team this year, with all but two students being 7th graders.
For the design process, they first analyzed how the game was played by watching the introduction video then created first draft designs on which functions our robot would have the ability to carry out. With several ideas generated, they merged the designs to build a robot with mecanum wheels and an arm with a basket-like attachment for picking up and placing game pieces. In the meantime, students prepared for a team presentation for the judges and created a portfolio that highlighted the team and its design process.
FIRST Tech Challenge offered in-person competitions for the 2021 season after going remote for 2020. Code Red competed in two events at Kentwood and in Novi. At the Novi event, team 5383, Neutrinos, qualified for the State Championship held at Macomb Community College. Team 5384, Emergency Situation, was also the winner of the Design Award at the Novi competition. Reflecting back on the season at the end of year debrief, FTC students and parents discussed ways we could improve for next year, with most expressing the plan to return.