FIRST Stronghold: Kick-Off 2016

It was a bright, cold morning as everyone gathered to the local Kick-Off in Lubbock, Texas. Ice was on the ground, kids were groggy, but people were constantly trying to guess this year’s game Challenge for “FIRST Stronghold!”

Minutes ticked by as the tension grew amongst the crowd. A cover over Monty Python and the Holy Grail could not have been more perfect for the theme of this year! It was hysterical for many (only for the puns). Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, and Frank Merrick all took their turn to discuss interesting facts about FIRST in a course of an hour. Hope was almost lost until they finally displayed the Game Reveal!

For those of you who are new to FIRST, this is one of the most challenging fields yet. In the past, there has been different components each alliance had to endure through. However, this time some of the components are interchangeable. These pieces are known as the OUTER WORKS. This is the alliances’ defense system. There are 8 platforms of which 1 from each group must be on the field. 1 set stays the same the entire time. Each alliance has to prepare a strategy to keep their opponents from BREACHING their defense, and this is the cool part; you are awarded for completing tasks. Another task the alliance can do is CAPTURE their opponents tower/flag. Because FIRST is known for using resources, it is advised to research past competitions to obtain information that can assist your team for this year’s competition.

There is so much more to this game than what I have mentioned. If you haven’t read the Game Manual, you should! (Game Manual:

Until later, good luck on this Build Season and may you find ways to defend your Stronghold!

~Krista Petty

Senator Charles Perry Visits Llano Estacado RoboRaiders

As a team Robo Raiders reached out tremendously to the community by pushing the importance of STEM Education, creating new things to benefit society, and becoming a better person in general. Team 1817 had a significant outreach from Senator Charles Perry On Thursday, June 25, 2015 as he came to visit the Llano Estacado Estacado Robo Raiders and witness their success out at their workspace at the Reese Technology Center. Senator Perry mentioned the importance of Texas Tech’s Robotics team, stating that, “We’re an outcomes-based society. People want to know, ‘Is it working? What’s happening?’ And that’s the way it should be,” He was proud to know that he could use RoboRaiders as an example in his debates for education, his success as a senator, and etc. DSC_0121 DSC_0114 DSC_0100 DSC_0089 DSC_0117

Building Robots at the Science Spectrum

RoboRaiders took Robotics to the next level by introducing the fun of planning, designing, and building to children that will hopefully pursue a STEM occupation while visiting the Science Spectrum. Team 1817 took junk and had kids make a robot out of it. This was a creative outreach and the kids enjoyed themselves. Who ever thought tinkering could be so exciting?

World Championships!!!

Starting on January 3, 2015 First Robotics Competition Teams (FRC) around the entire world spend six weeks designing, building, and training to compete in World Championships which was held in St. Louis, Missouri on April 22nd -25th. After coming in as the Second Alliance at the Alamo FIRST Robotics Competition and receiving a wildcard at the Hub City FIRST Robotics competition we were one of the competing teams at World Championship! This year there were 40,000 people in audience, 40 Countries, and 600 Robots at the Recycle Rush FIRST Competition. We were ranked 15th out of 76 in our Hopper division by the end of the Qualification rounds and were alliances with the 3rd ranked team (Alliance: FRC TEAMS 369, 2590, 1817, 11). Unfortunately we came up short about 3 points and were bumped out of semi – finals. The bright side was that we made it to World Champs and after being bumped out we were able to show our gracious professionalism by staying and supporting the other teams! After watching the winning alliance jump up and down out of excitement we chicken danced our way out of the dome. The most important thing there is to remember is that even though we didn’t make it to finals we tried our very best and can go bigger and harder next year!!! Raider! Power! Raider! Power!


Hub City FIRST Robotics Competition

On March 26-28, 2015 the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center held the Hub City FIRST Robotics Competition. March 25th consisted of scouting, putting the robot together, and practicing. March 26th started off the crazy madness and literally sent us flying into finals as our noodle slid into the recycle bin with spectacular strategies and strength to get us through finals.

Congratulations to George Tan for getting the Volunteer of the year and Rachel Moore, 1817 alumni, for winning the Woodie Flowers Finalist award! Congratulations to Madeleine St. Clair for Safety Star of the day on Thursday. We won the Safety Award and we were finalists at the Hub City FIRST Robotics Competition! We received a Wild Card Invitation to go to World in St.Louis, Missouri!