Recently, the conclusion of the FIRST® World Championship in Houston, Texas, marked the end of Team 341 Miss Daisy’s 2023 competition season.
This year’s build season was one of unique circumstances: 62 students, many of whom were rookies. Our large team, alongside the sheer number of rookies, made key skills like collaboration and teamwork essential. Miss Daisy rookies and veterans rose up to the game challenge of this year, excited to show eight weeks in the works: Miss Daisy XXIII.
Soon after, Miss Daisy was put to the test at her first district competition of the season: Hatboro-Horsham, notorious for its high caliber of play.
Hatboro-Horsham District Competition
After qualification matches, we placed 7th out of 34 teams. In an alliance with 1640 and 816, we made it to the semifinals, ending as the fourth-best alliance of the competition. Miss Daisy was also awarded the Industrial Design Award, celebrating, “the team that demonstrates industrial design principles, striking a balance between form, function, and aesthetics.” Along with these successes, we were ecstatic to see Tiffany L. – a junior on Miss Daisy – receive the distinction of Dean’s List District Championship Semi-Finalist.
Springside Chestnut Hill District Competition
Having undergone iterations from knowledge gained at Hatboro, Miss Daisy took on her next challenge: Springside Chestnut Hill District Competition. Rising through the ranks, Miss Daisy ended her qualification matches in second place and joined 2539 and 9027 to form the first-ranked alliance. After riveting matchplay, Miss Daisy, alongside her alliance partners, would become the 2023 Springside Chestnut Hill District Competition Winners. This marked a notable two-year win streak for our team at the event. Additionally, we were presented with the Excellence in Engineering Award, celebrating teams, “that demonstrate a professional approach to the design process.” Our consistency and persistence were key to coming this far, and would prove to be crucial for the larger challenge to come: the FIRST® Mid-Atlantic District Championship.
FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship
With the experience we garnered from our prior competitions, Miss Daisy entered the District Championship with bold goals in sight. Eventually, we ended with a 10-3 win-to-loss ratio and in fourth place overall. We were chosen by the first alliance – consisting of 103, 2720, and 1812. Undergoing fierce competition, we ended the competition as Semi-Finalists. Due to our robot’s performance, we were awarded the Excellence in Engineering Award once more. To add to our successes at the event, we were proud to see Tiffany L. earn the Dean’s List Award at the regional level, an award indicative of one who has, ”led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST® and its mission.”
FIRST® World Championship
Next, we entered the culmination of our months of hard work: the FIRST® World Championship. Sorted into the Hopper division, we found ourselves in the toughest division out of eight. In our qualification matches, we faced several mechanical and electrical challenges. During our first match, our telescoping arm’s drive belt was too loose, causing difficulties in picking and placing pieces. During another match, our battery leads came loose, causing our robot to reboot in the middle of the match. Despite these challenges, Miss Daisy still put on an impressive show.
At the end of our matches, we ended with a 6-4 win-loss rate, ending 28th out of 77 globally-ranked teams. After intense strategizing the nights preceding elimination matches, we joined the 8th alliance with teams 2481, 7457, and 226. In a solid alliance, we were hopeful about our chances against other teams. Unfortunately, bad luck struck and Miss Daisy toppled over in the first match! It had been the first time in the entirety of her season.
Eventually, following another win and loss, Miss Daisy ended as a Semi-Finalist in the Hopper division. Despite the technical difficulties that we faced, we were proud of how far we had come as a team.
We rushed to cheer on our Hopper division winners – 1323, 4414, 4096, 2609 – as they ascended to the highest level of competition, “Einstein,” ecstatic to see their eventual victory. We were also immensely proud to witness a fellow Mid-Atlantic team – 321, the RoboLancers – as they accepted the 2023 World Championship Impact Award. Seeing their positive influence on their community on such a grand scale has inspired us to further our own current outreach efforts.
All in all, at the end of the eventful four days, we were glad to look back on the memories we had made during the season. Navigating this season’s challenges was no easy task. At every turn of the process, we faced numerous obstacles. Every member, every spark to an idea – though little – represented a wire to what would be the crucial circuitry to the success of our season.
Though this season may be over, we’re excited about the many plans we have for the future.
Stay tuned for the off-season!