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Circuit Sisters Robotics Team Goes to State – ends up finalists by Ann Treacy
February 11, 2018, 1:36 am
Filed under: St Paul

A season of ups and downs and CAD and 3D printers, drivers, engineering books and alliances has come to a spectacular end. Aine’s all girl robotics team did very well.

They started strong and were even in first place a few times throughout the morning. During the morning two divisions of 24 teams each compete multiple times. For each match they are randomly matched with an alliance team. Each alliance gets points with each match. Rankings for the morning are based on points awarded throughout the 6 matches played during the morning. The ranking is shown throughout. It’s a moment of joy or a slippery slope of dismay as you team goes up and down. We had ups and downs.

The first match was awesome. But the third match was a little rough. The robot arm got weak, too weak to pick up the blocks. (I won’t even go into the scoring system for the matches as it’s so complex – but picking up blocks is a good thing.)  By the fifth match the arm was back to full strength and they even boosted the power.

At the end of the morning, the girls were ranked 9. Also at the end of the morning, the top four teams each select two teams to join them to form an alliance for the afternoon matches. Part of the robotics game is getting to know the other teams – trying to form potential alliances. Being in place 13 their odds were good but we just didn’t know. Aine was chosen to accept the alliance if they were asked. As the spots filled, we all started to bite nails. But thankfully, there were chosen.

So we stayed the afternoon. The first and fourth alliances duke it out and the second and third duke it out. Pleased to report that the girls’ alliance won in three matches against the second alliance. So on to the next bracket. Sadly their luck run out. They lost in two matches (it’s always best two out of three) to the first alliance. To be fair, the first alliance was very good.

We stayed for the awards. They got to troop across the gym floor to pick up their medals. We were all so proud. They all worked so well together. They cheered for everyone. The met so many people. They charmed and wheedled their way into great places all season.

Their coaches are awesome. Anne keeps everyone going and gets the school on board with everything. Her work has been such a game changer for Aine and others. Then there’s Walter – coach extraordinaire. He put up with a gaggle of 13 year old girls pulling in 13 different directions most days. He taught Aine so much about robotics but just about having a  positive attitude and how to embrace the iterative process. Without a doubt, robotics has been the best thing for Aine in 8 years at Nativity. We are sad to see it go but live on the fumes of its success!



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