Week 1-3: Miss Daisy Express

This blog post was written 2/4/21 by Meenakshi R.

All aboard the Miss Daisy train! Last time we spoke, our team had just celebrated our triumphant win at Hatboro. Since then, life went off the rails. So we decided to build a new track! 

This year, we have been conducting our team activities through Zoom and other online platforms. Luckily, we’ve been able to keep the team culture alive through team game nights, Discord calls, and more. Of course, sometimes our robotics team actually learns about robotics. Over the fall, we held training sessions several nights each week for our rookies to learn new skills, and for our veterans to pass on theirs. Virtual and all, we bonded with our rookies and strengthened existing bonds within the team. 

After a brief winter break, the team continued our virtual activities, all while counting down the days till kickoff. The anticipation had coaches and students alike on the edge of their seats. Let me tell you, when kickoff finally happened, it was WILD! Wild meaning we opened our laptops at 12 noon and patiently waited on a Zoom call for a live stream to begin. Nonetheless, we were excited for the upcoming challenges. Upon their announcement, we jumped into reviewing the manual together by continuing our tradition of popcorn reading. It’s as riveting as it sounds.

After kickoff, we began charting our course for this coming season. There are three challenges: an innovation and invention challenge, a robotics game design challenge, and a series of tasks for our real robot from last year to complete. Every challenge subteam created a timeline with set goals to meet, and rubrics for our initial ideas to guide them through the brainstorming process. The first few sessions for every subteam after kickoff began with rigorous brainstorming and lots of deliberation on how to tackle each challenge.

More specifically, the FIRST® Innovation Challenge group began by conducting research on any topics that piqued their interest. After they whittled down the list to those that best fit the prompt, the team set their eyes on two ideas. They’ve been contacting people in our community to gain a better perspective on their ideas. Slowly but surely, their project is coming together more and more. Soon, we will choose between the two ideas and fully develop it for our final submission.

Meanwhile, the FIRST® Game Design Challenge team has been making strides of their own. Standingguiding concept on the shoulders of giants, they drew inspiration from old FRC games, while developing ideas of their own. After multiple sessions of racking their brains, they formed three general game concepts to flesh out. Then, they presented these ideas to the entire team–Shark Tank style! The whole team listened to each “pitch” and voted for their favorite idea. With the final verdict, the game designers had a single concept to push forward with.  

The FIRST® Infinite Recharge at Home team first began by developing a priority list of tasks in preparation for our submission for the Judged Awards. This submission will show off all of our hard work on our 2020 robot. For the Skills Challenges, they’ve been remotely planning and working on code in hopes of being able to work with our robot in-person. 

As the challenge groups embark on their respective projects, the PR team and media team have been scotthard at work as well. As always, the PR team has been busy conducting interviews with our award nominees for this year’s essays. The media team has been working in tandem with our project groups to develop supplementary graphics and submission materials. They’ve been putting their fall training to work in both the Adobe Suite and in Canva, which allows them to collaborate on projects remotely. Besides consistently providing strong support for the team, us media kids have also been keeping our sessions alive with our enthralling conversation*.

*talking about cheetos and TikTok

All in all, we’re excited to see our ideas come to fruition in the coming weeks. Next train stop: project submission!


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