FIRST Robotics Competition 2021
We are hopeful that the World Championships will be run in July 2021, and that we will be part of them
We are hoping to qualify for the PCH Championships in 2021.
The PCH Qualifying Events
For 2021, the FRC season is very fluid and will look different from the past. We are registered to compete, and we are looking forward to learning what the season will look like.
Because of COVID, we are in a new world. FIRST is allowing teams to use the same robots as 2020. We are spending time shoring up Kyber to allow her to compete again. We also are building a second robot -- named Bahkar. It will be drastically different from any robot we've ever built, but with this new year we are taking advantage of time.
Because of COVID, we had time to think in ways we have have. Lots of teams spent time with 3D printing of shields and ear protectors and such. We had a student who made masks for people who were looking for protection. But too few of our students had training and experience to support in these ways. We expanded our Mechanical Team to include CAD (which supports 3D printing as well as our CNC router), which expanded our ongoing opportunities going forward. But we also were touched by the mental health issues that were coming to light from the lockdowns and the uncertainty of the world. In response to this concern, we started a new outreach program called Caring for Special People (CSP). This program identifies a group of special people each month that we will spotlight and create care bags in support of the ongoing needs of that community. The first month was October. Our Team Ecliptic (all-girl) team led this month by spotlighting cancer warriors during Breast Cancer Awareness and Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Our bags were created and delivered to the Amos Cancer Center with Piedmont Hospital, right in Columbus. November, in acknowledgement and support of homeless people and Food Banks, led by our Astrobots.
As the virus continued to rage through the world this year, we had so many changes that we had to address. Our head coach created a new product called Germ Eraser. Germ Eraser is a Patent-pending verified, dry virus sanitation system. Other UV-C based sanitation systems are available, but this one uses measured results and beeps at you when the Kill Threshold has been reached. We made this part of our sanitization program and daily processes, which allowed us to return to HQ in alignment with when sports restarted in Muscogee County. Our leadership team stepped up and became the sanitization team, spending time at the end of every meeting ensuring that we are protecting ourselves and our families.
Last year, CSP started three FTC teams to join the teams in town. This year with COVID, we continued with two of those teams (due to a reduction in our recruitment for new members). We competed the Astrobots and Team Ecliptic. The Astrobots changed their logo going forward, and with a reduction in when they could meet due to the virus. After week one of competition, team Ecliptic was ranked number 3 in the District (South Georgia) and we look forward to seeing how the team progresses.
DREAMS-31 was held in the summer of 2020 -- even with COVID. It was a small group (thanks to the virus), but it was integral to our continued growth with DREAMS and our expansion to younger students. It was a complete success for our science research, and we have expanded it to integrate with our Cube-SAT program.
With such a huge graduating class in 2019, we decided that we wanted to create a new banner wall for colleges represented by our alumni. We started out with a few colleges, to include Georgia, Vanderbilt, and Georgia Southern, however we received banners from alumni all season long, to include Georgia Tech, Columbus State, UCF, and MIT. After our alumnus, Pranam C, achieved his PhD from MIT this spring, he promised us a Harvard banner this fall. Pranam will be teaching there as a professor in the fall, and we are excited to add this new school. We have expanded our college wall to even more schools, and we are looking to add an inspiration wall for companies where our alumni have gone to work. That is the newest objective we have, which is supported by a Big/Little inspiration program between our alumni and students, allowing both to keep each other updated and to allow our alumni insight into the program.