Middle School FTC 2019: Rising to the Challenge

From the moment the 2019 game for the FTC season, FIRST Rise, was revealed in September, our middle school FTC students were excited to take on the challenge of moving “stones” and building skyscrapers with those stones.  As the build season progressed, students on Code Red’s two FTC teams designed and built a robot that could efficiently grab stones, raise them high to build a strong tower, and move the building pad for additional points in the game. Additionally, students working with mentors created and assembled their Engineering Notebook and practiced for presentations.  

Both FTC teams had their first competition at East Kentwood High School.  After qualification matches, team #5384, Emergency Situation, was ranked #5 and team #5383, Neutrinos Breaking the Laws of Physics, was ranked #10.  Both teams were selected for alliances in the playoffs where team #5384 made it to the semi-finals and team #5383 made it to the finals. The Neutrinos (5383), were not able to pull off the win, but ended up as finalists in the event, coming in second place.  With the successes and lessons learned at this first event, the teams were ready for their second event.

The Richland Event at Gull Lake High School was the second event for Code Red’s two FTC teams.  While the teams had a tougher time during qualification matches with #5383 ranked #33 and #5384 ranked #22, they were both selected for alliances in the playoffs.  Once again, Emergency Situation (#5384) made it to the semi-finals and Neutrinos (#5383) made it to the finals. After two final matches played, Neutrinos came out the winners of the event!  This win qualified them for the State Championship. The day was topped off with Emergency Situation winning the Connect Award and Neutrinos winning a Connect Award Finalist.

The season was not yet finished for FTC #5383, Neutrinos.  They competed at the State Championship in the Edison Division.  After qualification matches, the team was ranked #11, and they were selected to be part of the #1 alliance during alliance selection.  The team’s robot performed well through the playoffs as they made it to the finals. There the season ended with a second place finish in the finals.  Considering the level of competition and number of teams competing, the team felt proud of their performance and results.

Looking back at the season, students and mentors both agreed that we had a solid robot design and that reflected in the success of the season. Much was learned, and much fun was had in the process.