Never Thought We Would Be One Of Them
(Atlanta, GA.) No truer words could have ever been spoken about the DISCBOTS (Team #6023) from the DeKalb International Student Center (DISC)*.
Just like the small unknown college team going into March Madness, the DISCBots carried the same burdens going into the FIRST Stronghold Competition in Dalton, GA – we were unknown, under-equipped and burdened with a unique communications “challenge”. You see, our team is comprised of 35 students from nine countries that speak over 19 languages with English being the newest for them all. No pressure!
At the beginning of the competition, no one was trying to figure out if the DISCBOTS had what it took to go the distance. We knew going in that expectations of our performance were extremely low to non-existent. All eyes were on the usual suspects -- better equipped teams that had name recognition and access to the best of the best in resources (money, equipment, transportation, housing and mentors).
We built 6023 (our robot) from scratch mostly because we had no choice. Many times we had to borrow tools from other teams, recycle parts from previously discarded competition robots, and find any scrap materials we could get our hands on. 6023 became our Cinderbot.
Where other competing robots had more mechanized technology and high-end programming systems, 6023 had to pull through with duct-taped appendages and efficient simple fixes.
Throughout the competition, our drivers and pit crew used precision, speed, and laser-like focus to re-assess and re-adjust 6023 for maximum performance and endurance. Our team’s sincere faith in our abilities helped showcase the dynamic of our collective skillsets in critical thinking, problem solving and team work. We became the upset team -- the scrappy group of players whose motivation took down star-studded, reigning world champions.
Even though we didn’t win the overall competition, we made it to the Semi-Finals and received the Rookie Inspiration and Highest Seeded Rookie Team awards.
Now, we've advanced to the Georgia FIRST State Championships and have secured our place in the Final Four of FIRST Robotics. . . a $15,000 expense we were not expecting --- so we need your help!
Our team is comprised of low-income families and lack the funding for lodging, food and transportation to the Peachtree District State Championship in Athens, GA on April 14, 2016. Some funding has been committed by our school district's Title III program, but it is far from being enough. Please help make the dreams come true of our Cinderalla team.
Even if you cannot make a donation, please share this page with your friends and family!
For more information about FIRST and the FIRST Robotics Competition, visit here:
Visit the DISCBots Facebook page here:
For more information about donating to the team, contact the NEXT Steps Youth Entrepreneur Program @ http://www.nextstepsyep.org
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