We kick off the start of the new school year with the first of what we hope will be a series of guest posts by Florida teams. Starting us off is FIRST Robotics Competition team 2383, the Ninjineers, of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida. Check out their story!
With the start of a new school year comes the start of a new First Robotics Competition Cycle. And with the new season comes more than just robots. What also comes are the memories created building them, the life lessons taught from our wonderful mentors, and incomparable experiences that will last a lifetime.
And so, the Ninjineers decided to try something completely new, with the help of our little young up-and-coming engineers.
For 3 weeks straight, every weekday, from 9-4:30, the Ninjineers worked on improving last years World Championship ‘bot, and for the first time, created an entirely new off-season robot with inspiration drawn from Einstein’s Elite Robots.
Throughout our summer camp, student mentors taught the eager new engineers the basics of many staple programs and skills used in FRC. These skills range from CAD drawing, robot coding in Java, operating the CNC machine, getting a basic grasp on basic tools, and brainstorming.
Not only the campers got experience. The mentors also learned valuable lessons. New Ninjineers from last school year learned leadership skills by assembling 2 teams of 6-8 students where they developed areas of focus in each of the robots.
Then when the three weeks past, we finished it off with our very own competition using the field we built last year (with a few modifications). Students formed pairs of operators and drivers, and using the robots they helped build, competed in front of their parents. After going through qualification rounds and 4 playoff matches, our summer camp champions were crowned. The campers learned not only how to build robots, but to be gracious professionals- to be kind in defeat, and respectful in victory.
The kids have loved working with us, with some campers coming 3+ years in a row, and new eager members joining our FLL Robotics team, some of whom will make their way up through the ranks and join the FRC teams in the following years.
We hope everyone has a great offseason, and we can not wait to get back into the rhythm of competing!
And of course, a little final sneak peek.
Want to share your FIRST story? Contact us and we’ll send you guest bloc specs!