2018 Build Season Kick-Off

By Harini J., January 13, 2018

FIRST Teams around the world are now exploring the challenges presented by this year’s engineering game challenge, FIRST POWER UP, and are sure to have a packed 6-week build season. In this year’s challenge, each three-team alliance earns points and prepares to escape the arcade game they’re trapped in. They do this by using power cubes to control switches and the scale, and get points for how long they have control of each. Alliances can also use their power cubes for “power-ups,” to gain ownership of switches and scales, to gain an extra climb, and to boost their point totals. Extra points can be won during the endgame by climbing the scale to “face the boss.”

Following the Kickoff broadcast, Team 1816 - The Green Machine, Team 2239 - Technocrats from Hopkins, and rookie Team 7019 - TechNoLogic from Chesterton Academy, Edina delved into this year’s extensive game manual to discover this year’s robot and game rules and determine possible strategies for FIRST POWER UP. After utilizing knowledge acquired throughout the preseason and past years of FRC, teams are forming their initial strategies for this season. 1816 is diligently preparing for our two regionals this year: Minnesota 10,000 Lakes, Minneapolis, and Lake Superior, Duluth. With limited instructions, students collaborate to design, construct, program, and fine-tune a robot to satisfy this year’s game. After build season, we must bag up our robot and will be unable to modify it until our competitions. However, we will continue to innovate and perfect our designs throughout the season, and will use the Thursday “practice day” at events to fine-tune our robot. 

This year, we also invited MN House Rep. Dario Anselmo (R-Edina) and State Senator Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) to our Kickoff event to introduce them to FIRST POWER UP. We also informed them about important upcoming events, such as Robots in the Rotunda/District 49 Day in late February, where we'll be visiting the State Capitol with other FIRST teams to introduce FIRST to more state representatives; our Team's open house in February, and to how we shaped our Team’s Core Values. These ongoing meetings with our elected officials are important as we advocate for STEM legislation and reach out to a new generation of engineers.