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Competition Day!

What a day!

Early this morning, we packed up everything we thought we needed for today and got a a bus headed for Waco.

Once we arrived, we claimed a section of bleacher, claimed a table in the pit and claimed a place for our booth. Some members of the team set up the booth, some attached posters to the railings on our section of bleacher, and others performed some last-minute tweaks on the robot. Austin Maddox set up his amp and guitar.






We received the schedule of the seeding rounds we were competing in, and off we went!

The whole morning went by in a huge blur. One minute we were competing in the first round and the next we were breaking for lunch!


We had one more round after lunch. We hung a D-Latch hanger, and that qualified us for the semifinals of the competition.


For the semifinals, each team is given a set inventory. We decided not to bother with dowels based on our set inventory, and just go straight to Stage 3 to fabricate Registers, a MUX, and a Decoder. This strategy got us to the finals where we did the same thing. We ended up placing third in the finals.


The awards ceremony started and we all started getting very nervous. Will we make it to Dallas?

Then they announced second place BEST award and the entire team EXPLODED in happy screaming.


Mall Day

Today we went to Mall Day at the Richland Mall.

We met at the Hack Shack at 9:00a. We ended up sharing a bus with BHS to the Richland Mall.

The bus ride there was really long, but I got a lot done on the engineering notebook without distractions. There also was a big big card game (Poverty) going on as we drove to Waco.

Ben and Ben Working


Here we see Ben Miller and Ben Stobaugh doing some last minute tests and adjustments before taking our robot (dubbed “Short Circuit” by Ben Miller) to the field.




Since our robot was lacking a working arm at this point, we tested how the pieces fit together and how the range of our arm would work.



One of the other teams, as part of their marketing team gave out these little containers with candies and tiny toys. I was able to snag a tiny plastic rubber chicken. I am greatly amused by this and I have no idea why.


Mr. Williams took a great video of Mall Day:


After all this, we ate lunch and drove back to New Tech to have a work day.

For the work day when we got back from Mall Day, we ended up mounting a motor to the gear part of our arm.



We also developed a plan for the final week of the competition.

Hope we get it done in time. We are cutting it pretty close!

Kick Off

Where to begin? This year’s even looks like it’s going to be very complicated. The course has three sections: dowel rods (Gates), hangers (Transistors), and wooden objects (Components). Basically what we have to do is pick up various objects and place them down in various positions. The course looks like this:


Kickoff consisted of more than just meeting the course, though. We got our parts! We got a big box and a briefcase, and together they pose infinite possibilities. We are thinking of building a sort of crane with a claw that can build multiple things. Hopefully it will work out!