Now What? Team 1717 Gets to Work
The next six weeks will be a whirlwind of high stress, late nights, and nonstop work for the seniors of the Engineering Academy as they prepare to build a robot to compete in this year’s FIRST robotics competition, “Aerial Assist.”
With the deadline fast approaching, Team 1717 will be pushed to their limits to create a robotic masterpiece.
FIRST is an organization dedicated to inspiring young people to pursue science and technology. It has programs that promote the sciences for children of all ages: from Junior FIRST Lego league for grades K-3 to FIRST robotic competition, in which Team 1717 competes annually. The FIRST robotics competition, referred to quite accurately by FIRST as “varsity sport for the mind,” has impacted the lives of roughly 67,500 students and over 2,100 robotics teams. Ever since its first competition in 1992, FIRST robotics competitions have been giving high schoolers the opportunity to create their own robot that will compete with other robots from teams around the world. These students also get the unique chance to learn from professional mentors and get about as close to “real-world engineering” as it gets.
The members of Team 1717 all seem to share apprehensions and excitement for the weeks in front of them. Ellen Seale, a senior on the systems team, said that “the last week should be pretty stressful because just getting everything done in the time constraints is hard, but everyone’s very committed so I think it will go well.”
Although the enormous task before them might seem daunting, it also is an excellent time for Team 1717 to bond and grow closer. Seale explained that “we are a really close team to begin with, but, now that we’re spending over 6 hours together every day, we’re just going to get closer.”
You might think that six weeks is too short a time to build a robot, and you would be right. These next weeks will be some of the hardest our seniors have ever encountered but, they will also be the most fun. The seniors of the DP Engineering Academy are about to start making memories and having experiences that will last a lifetime. Team 1717 member Sydney Eilbacher said, “I’m excited. It’s definitely going to be very memorable and the competitions will be a lot of fun.”