GTR CENTRAL: Team 4914’s 1st FIRST Robotics Competition of 2016

March 8, 2016     / /

  • GTR CENTRAL: Team 4914’s 1st FIRST Robotics Competition of 2016

The six weeks are over.

That is to say, six weeks of planning, designing, building and testing VP’s Team 4914’s robot for the FRC 2016 FIRST Stronghold Competition.  Victoria Park’s Robotics team was given a crucial and critical task–and at the end of six weeks, full of hard work, stress, but most importantly, fun, they needed to have a finished machine.

The day that marked the end of build season dawned the next day as the start of the competition season. On March 3rd, 4th, and 5th, a very excited Team 4914 attended the Greater Toronto Central Regional FRC Competition, held at Mattamy Athletic Centre (former Maple Leafs Gardens). This event’s main sponsors were Ryerson University and Scotia Bank. Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 was the practice day for all 42 teams who attended, though the competition began on Friday, March 4th, the next day.

“…We were very nervous that we wouldn’t be able to meet the deadlines we set for ourselves – that we wouldn’t be able to finish–but miraculously, with the help of our many members, mentors and teachers were we able to finish. We finished…,” says a member of the team from the Build sub team after putting the finishing touches on the robot’s forklift.

The opening ceremonies on Friday began the tournament with introducing the judges, listening to keynote speakers as well as welcoming the FRC teams from outside of Ontario. Two teams from the United States of America travelled up north, here, to Toronto. Among them were also two teams from our French neighbours from the east, Quebec, and one team from Alberta, Western Canada.

Following the opening ceremonies, teams, students and mentors were launched into the thrill of the qualification matches. These matches were played all day Friday and until lunch of the following day. The final rounds of the competition succeeded lunch on Saturday, March 5th, 2016, where the highest-ranking teams battled one another in game, alongside “coopetition” in spirit. The event neared its finale as the best teams went neck-a-neck, until the highest ranking ones would “capture the kingdom” and be crowned victors. It concluded with the awards ceremonies which presented many esteemed awards such as that for the Winners, Gracious Professionalism, Imagery, Team Spirit, Engineering Inspiration Awards – and the most prestigious of all, the Chairman’s Award. This is given to the FRC team who encompasses all the FIRST values and goals, as well as setting an example for the other teams. The winners of this award at the Greater Toronto Central Regional was Team 1311 from Penfield, New York and this accomplishment was their ticket to attending the FIRST Championship on April 27th, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sainan Chevarajah, a grade 12 student at Victoria Park, as well as the Safety sub-team leader for Team 4914, received an award for his outstanding display of safety and enforcing it, not only to his own robotics’ team but other teams, as well. The Judges awarded him the “Star of the Day” on Friday, March 4th, due to his dedication to safety protocols.

“How did Team 4914 do?” was the question asked by teachers and students, alike, at Victoria Park CI, following the Greater Toronto Central Regional Competition weekend. The answer? Despite the issues seen in the robots’ bumper adjustment, forklift, and weight, the Team showed determination and kept a strong morale. Though the robot’s performance was not as great as they hoped, this competition served as a lesson, as the team was given a wonderful opportunity to learn from their mistakes. By acknowledging weakness and encouraging strength, Team 4914 will no doubt be ready for their next competition in April at the Windsor ESSEX Great Lakes Event.

I believe that all Team 4914 members can relate and certainly agree to Member Ravicha Ravinthiran’s words:

“Competitions in FIRST are a fun way to spend time with your friends and learn more about STEM. FIRST competitions also give us a chance to embrace and overcome challenges that engineers and scientists experience every day. That is definitely what we saw today. Even if we can accomplish certain things in a competition…We always have to work toward the future, because in the end, that’s our destination.”

Good Luck, Team 4914, at Windsor! 🙂

Written By: Aisha Khan