For the past few weeks, captains of the Stampede 3060 have been leading interactive workshops with Breck’s FLL and FTC teams (4th through 6th grade). Working collaboratively to solve decision making matrices, brainstorming code together, or watching each other be lifted by pistons, everyone learned something about robotics. It was a great opportunity for the younger students to ask questions about FRC high-school robotics, as well as get to know the students behind the bot. All around they were a major success!
Wayzata’s biggest three day festival, James J. Hill Days, took place last weekend along Lake Street at the downtown strip. Stampede 3630 was able to bring the 2018-2019 robot to the Breck tent. A popular attraction for the younger kids, the ball manipulator ran smoothly (once the motor was plugged in…) for anyone and everyone who wanted to give throwing the ball into the robot a try! Attached is a video recap of the day which started Stampede’s great outreach for the year!
On the afternoon of March 6th, 2019, Stampede 3630 cleaned out the lab, strapped down their robot, and packed full the Yukon. Mr. Lampe and six students began the journey north to Darling Duluth at 5:20 pm. Three hours later, after one gas stop, three bags of potato chips, eight games of 20 questions, and countless laughs later, the Yukon arrived at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (aka the DECC). With only 40 minutes left to unpack and set-up, the group hastily began wheeling in carts and containers to their well-placed pit. Promptly at 9 the weary group left the pit (unorganized and full) and drove the short distance to the hotel.
Thursday morning came and the six set out to finish the pit and start unpacking the robot. The morning was full of slight adjustments, and short practice runs. The rest of the team arrived shortly after lunch, just in time for the practice matches. The DECC was bustling with excitement as the team went this way and that, all finding something different to work on. Some were volunteering at the crossroads or the safety glasses tables, some were practicing for chairman’s, others were scouting out fellow pits, and still others were working hard on the robot. There was never a shortage of activities for the group, and the hustle and bustle only added to the excitement of the coming day. The worn out members of the 3630 pit dragged their feet back to the hotel around 9, and after a quick dinner it was off to bed for the team.
Friday came early, but the excitement is what got the kids out of bed. With their new Stampede shirts and safety glasses, they headed to the DECC for Day 1 of prelims. Our robot did well, but it’s real hidden speciality was defense. The bot raced around the field, preventing the other alliances from placing hatches and storing cargo. At one point during the day, 3630 was ranked 5th in the Northern Lights Regional. Their was bad weather in the forecast, and FIRST made the decision to lengthen the day so as to get finished earlier on Saturday. This meant more matches and more scouting for Stampede. By the end of the day, they were ranked 11th and ready for the final prelims.
Despite losing their final prelims Saturday morning, the 3630 were selected by the Number 1 Alliance (captained by the 2052 KnightKrawler) along with the 525 Swartdogs - a welcome surprise. The quarterfinals came and went, losing only the first match. Then the semifinals - two tense matches that led to raised heart rates and intensified nail biting. It was time for the finals, and the number 1 alliance was ready. Between their third level climb, precise hatch placements, and our defense, we successfully defeated the other number 2 alliance and were crowned 2019 Northern Lights Regional Winners!!
At the award ceremony, besides being presented with our blue banner and victory plaque, the team also was named Safety Runner-Up and received the Innovation in Control Award (sponsored by Rockwell Automation)!! The regional was a huge success for the team, and we’re going to Detroit!! Congrats 3630!!
The Stampede is here. Below is Team 3630’s Reveal Video for the 2019: Deep Space FRC Robotics Competition!!
“We’ve got a blown fuse!” Andy hollers as Mr. Lampe frantically searches for a spare. “Where’s the tag?” Mr. Jennings calls from inside the storage room, “Under Abby’s foot!” Sam replies back. The seconds tick by with fierce tension as voices raise and patience shrinks. The clock reads 10:58:46 and the dozen people crazy enough to still be at Breck are scrambling around the Robotics Lab trying desperately to open the gigantuan plastic bag large enough to fit the 124 lb creation they have spent the last six weeks, 158 hours, 12 rolls of duct tape, 234 rivets, and 76 bags of pretzels working on. Mr. Walker walks onto the scene at 10:59 and informs the group that “they don’t look too ready,”. Welcome to robotics, we’re never quite ready but we do our best. However, the group got organized enough to, as gracefully as one can, maneuver the pride and joy of Stampede 3630 into the bag and seal it up at 11:02:12. The pen flourished across the judge’s paper, and with that Bag Day was officially over. However, it wasn’t until 11:30 that the last eight remaining, spent team members finally tracked out to their snow-laden cars after a weary-eyed goodbye. If you find yourself pursuing a curiosity as to the exact events that took place as Bag Day drew to a close, then feel free to watch the attached, unedited, film of the final moments.
Three Saturdays ago, on January 6th, the world of robotics joined together to watch the unveiling of this year's challenge: Deep Space. The upper school lunchroom was bustling with excitement as the launch got underway. Lift-Off came at 9:50 am sharp, and we were ready. The video played, and the crowds' imagination flew as high as the rockets. After much applause and the occasional *gasp* of excitement, Breck was ready to start brainstorming, and the creative juices were flowing. As the crowd separated into sub-team groups, and Mr. Lampe talked to the parents, smiles and ideas grew, notes were taken, and prototypes were drawn. The buzz of excitement was contagious, and soon everyone was contributing, exploring the manual and talking through dimensions. Below is a video containing the audio of the official animation video as well as videos and images from the day. The group ate and strategized together; students, parents, and mentors alike. As the clock struck 3, the crowd started trickling out and the cleanup process began. The season was officially underway, and the Stampede 3630 was ready to enter Deep Space.
A few weeks ago the Marketing Team commandeered the fourth-floor commons area and turned it into their own film studio. Once the process of setting up dual cameras, countless chords, and one very snazzy light was complete, they were ready to start filming. Three hours and a dozen team members later, the marketing team is proud to present a compilation of interviews that sums up the culture of Breck Stampede Robotics. Here it is:
Although September 15th has come and gone, the connections made and lessons learned at the Breck Stampede Orientation day continue even today. A lengthy 5-hour meeting was held on the third floor of Breck School during which Head Coach Ben Lampe called together anyone and everyone who was interested in participating in Breck Robotics. Here, captains and sub-team leads were announced, rookies learned the ropes, a meal was shared, and everyone practiced safety. It was a fun day for all that were involved, an accurate precursor to the meetings that followed as the weeks went on. The team recapped last year, as well as reviewed the overall structure of the FIRST Robotics Program in hopes of clearing the fog for the young rookies. Each of the sub-teams gave a mini-presentation about the different facets and responsibilities of their team as the season unfolds in hopes of recruiting some of the newbies. The meeting was a great way for students, especially the newcomers, to get acquainted with the well-furnished lab, the incredible mentors, and the passionate culture of Breck Robotics Stampede. The five hours seemed to go quickly as waves of laughter and dollops of conversations filled the time and left everyone eager with anticipation for the approaching season.