For the Bentleyville at the Symphony holiday concert on Friday, December 5, three of our own team members suited up as holiday mascots. They included two of Santa’s famous reindeer, Blitzen and Cupid, and a penguin from Bentleyville. Along with the penguin came numerous light displays provided by Bentleyville, which is open until December 27.
Thus began an hour of high-fives, hugs, and photos with children and adults. Even the DSSO’s very own conductor, Dirk Meyer got a chance to snap a photo. Despite the clunky costumes, the event was a blast, and seeing the kids faces made it all worthwhile. All sorts of Christmas music was played, including Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”, among other holiday favorites.
This past weekend the Daredevils gave seminars to northeastern Minnesota teams at Itasca Community College (ICC). This is our fourth year assisting this pre-season program. These workshops vary each year but maintain the purpose to teach teams different strategies to help build their team or even just different strategies for the upcoming season. The workshops include everything from the business side of teams, like working with sponsors and outreach, to a hands-on seminar about pneumatics.
After spending the morning presenting, our team members had the opportunity to wander for the second half of the day and attend seminars by ICC engineering students. Opportunities for events like this are valuable resources for new and old teams. We would like to thank ICC and their Engineering Department for providing our team, and others, with this resource.
The fifth annual Minne Mini-Regional kicked off with a welcome speech from the mayor of Savage, MN Janet Williams. After opening speeches, the Prior Lake High Shool band marched in to play the National Anthem and the competition began. The event is hosted and created by Savage’s own King TeC, Team 2169, and used as a last chance to see the season’s previous game as well as condition new-comers to the world of FIRST. The competition has become a popular event for Minnesota teams, and even Thunder Robotics, Team 876 from North Dakota, and all share a unanimous appreciation and love for the event.
Our team won six of our seven qualification matches, placing third going into alliance selections. As part of the top four, we chose CIS, Team 4607 from Becker; Thunder Robotics, Team 876; and No Mythic, Team 2491 from St. Paul as our backup alliance. After the alliance selections, the competition narrowed down to 16 teams (four backup teams included) totaling four final alliances. Unfortunately the Daredevils didn’t make it into the finals but we had a blast seeing all the teams again and competing with them.
Congratulations to all teams involved and thanks for a great competition. So long Aerial Assist, we can’t wait for January 3!
This past week we attended the annual community meeting held by ISD 709. The annual meeting is a place where the Duluth community gets together and talks about the progress that the schools and community have made this year and discusses future plans and goals.
As a Duluth school group, we made an appearance along with Denfeld’s team, DNA, at the meeting to show the community and school board a little bit about who we are and what we do. The drums played as we got the robots up and running for the evening. Team members on both sides caught, tossed, and retrieved balls while robots ran after them, picking it up to shoot again. It was like watching a movie on repeat; run, pick up, throw, and catch. There was even interplay between both robots. The teams had the opportunity to socialize and make friends with new and old members from different teams. This meeting showed how well other teams can work together in and outside the competition.
On October 11 we attended the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (DSSO) concert “New Frontiers”. They invited us to come showcase our team as the Student Spotlight group. We had the opportunity to talk with audience members, show our robots, and spread the message of FIRST. Our 2011 championship robot, Archie, sported red, white, and blue LEDs for the occasion.
After intermission, the conductor informed the audience that he would “love to start the program, but forgot his baton”. He then asked if Archie could bring it out. The audience was enthusiastic as Archie rolled out with the baton on a small pillow attached to its claw. Archie ended his performance with a “bow” –raising his claw and lowering it– to the conductor and then the audience before exiting the stage.
We would like to give our many thanks to the DSSO for granting us the honor of presenting the baton as well as letting us set up a booth outside of their auditorium.