Engineering Inspiration Award: Team 4914’s STEAMworks SUCCESS in North Bay

April 14, 2017    

Written by: TALIA WANG

The buzzer sounds and six industrial-sized robots spring to life. Each machine autonomously races across the field, marking the start of an FRC STEAMworks match. Their respective drive teams stand by nervously for twenty monotonous seconds, knowing that a couple points in the high goal can very well make the difference between victory and loss. Anxious to get ahold of the controls, drivers then step forward to maneuver their robots: delivering gears, shooting “fuel,” and scaling ropes. Cheers echo across the stadium, as successful alliances high five and congratulate one another.

From April 6-8, after an exhausting five-hour bus ride, Team 4914 Panthers arrived at Nipissing University for the North Bay FRC District Event. With modifications and improvements to the robot, every member was eager to advance to the District Championships. After over a day of qualification matches and tiresome last minute adjustments, the team finished ninth out of twenty six teams, proceeding to become the captain of the sixth alliance. The seemingly excruciating pressure was no match for their strong-willed drivers, who, with wild grins on their faces, competed to the best of their ability. Team 4914 handed out boxes to all participating teams, with invitations to 4914’s Fall Fiesta 2017, to be held at Victoria Park CI, this October. From communicating with judges to interacting with like-minded teams, 4914 remained graciously professional throughout all three days.

Meanwhile, other members were working to establish a positive presence in the pits. Students handed out gift three days.

The evening of April 7th, every team gathered at the university’s athletic centre to enjoy a social, organized by FRC 1305. It was an evening filled with music, poutine, and an outrageous amount of masking tape, as teams attempted to build the tallest paper structure.

As the end of the event drew near, the team’s efforts were recognized at the closing ceremony, where they received the Engineering and Inspiration Award. Honoured and beyond ecstatic, they were invited to compete for the award at District Championships, from April 13-15. Fingers crossed, they hope to advance to the World Championships later this month, held in St. Louis, U.S.

It’s not over yet, and whatever the outcome, 4914 is pleased to say that these past few months have been part of a truly exhilarating season. They plan on preparing immediately for the challenges that will arise in the 2017-2018 year. With goggles fastened, the team readies themselves for even more excitement to come.