I apologize for taking so long to update everyone on the Kings And Queens trip to the FIRST World Robotics Championship in ST. Louis. As soon as we came back the girls launched into AP tests and I've been trying to catch up on a mound of neglected work.
The Kings And Queens returned from St. Louis successful, but not triumphant. Since this was our first time competing at the top level, we didn’t really know what to expect so we had a few basic goals of giving a good account of ourselves on the field, making an impression on the FIRST community, learning as much as we could, and having fun. We assumed going in that the competition on the field would be fierce since we were among the best 128 teams in the world, but we underestimated just how amazingly good many of the other teams were.
On the field the team posted a respectable three wins and six losses and finished ranked 100 out of 128. Two of the matches were lost by less than ten points each, a difference of scoring just two of the plastic blocks. It was the goal of “making an impression” where the ladies really shined. Holding court from our purple and gold pavilion, they charmed one and all. We opened the St. Louis Post-Dispatch one morning to a story about girls in robotics and found two of the team members in a photo accompanying the article. The ladies were asked by the FIRST organization to co-star in a video to be used to promote FTC Robotics next season. They won a special award for Best Costumes voted on by the tournament staff.
The team pavilion became a favored stop for VIPs, sponsors and dignitaries as they were escorted around the event by FIRST guides, and many people made a special trip to see “the cool purple robot with all the jewels.” We passed out nearly 800 foil crowns with our team logo on them and had a sizeable portion of the FTC teams wearing them on Friday which FIRST celebrates as “Tiara Friday.” And personally gratifying, at the end of the competition I wrote a piece for the FIRST Facebook page on my thoughts and observations on attending the World Championship for the first time that so impressed the FIRST staff that they added it to the new Guidebook for Coaches and Mentors for next season along with our team photo.
Going to the World Championship was a great experience. The ladies made a lot of friends and really put Monrovia on the map in the FIRST Robotics world. They are already making plans for next year to earn their way back to the Championship in 2015 and be a much stronger competitor by applying what they learned this year. Now they know exactly what it takes. As an example to work toward, we can look to the tournament champion team, “Hot Wired” from Portland, Oregon and the overall top Inspire Award winner, “The Bears” from Mexico City, Mexico.
Thank you for supporting The Kings And Queens and Monrovia High Robotics. There were times, during the frantic six weeks of fundraising, planning and organizing our two major out of town trips, when we didn’t think we could do it. What kept us going was the way our families, our school, the Monrovia business community, and the community at large so enthusiastically stood behind us and believed in us. Your support helped make possible not only a phenomenally enriching experience for a group of high school students, but also the elevation of the Monrovia High Robotics Program into the ranks of the top robotics programs in the world. We look forward to the opportunity to repeat our success next season, and hope we can count on the support of the Monrovia community next year.
The Kings And Queens And Entourage
Best Costumes Award
Talking To Tournament Sponsors