Members of Team 1138-G at a November 2015 tournament in Granada Hills. photo: Cliff William Photography
Until today, Chaminade’s first all-girl VEX robotics team, 1138-G had not yet qualified for VEX Worlds, desipite winning multiple awards throughout the tournament season. This changed when the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (REC) announced the winners of their 2016 Online Challenges.
Team 11-38-G won the STEM Educational Video Challenge for their video, “Guide to Tournament Conduct.” With this win, the team also qualifies for VEX Worlds, which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky from April 20 to 23.
All of Eagle Engineering’s online challenges were created as full, Team 1138 effort, and were led by Special Projects Director, Ryan Lim ’17. Each entry was submitted under a randomly assigned individual sub-team. Teams 1138-A and 1138-G made it into the top 10 for their entries, and 1138-A’s video, “VRC Promote Award Challenge” finished in second. Video entries were directed and produced by Eagle Engineering’s Video Director, Chris Grabow ’17. His team provided help, including a large amount of assistance from Connor Morse ’19.
On Saturday, March 5, Teams 1138-A and 1138-B will compete at the Central California State Championship.
Chaminade’s Eagle Engineering Robotics Team 1138 brought home a big win from the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) San Diego Regional Tournament, showing incredible grit and determination by battling back from last place to land a spot in the tournament finals and becoming part of the winning three-team alliance. This was Chaminade’s first FRC Regional Tournament victory since 2006.
The team began in good form on Thursday with a smooth day of inspection, practice and programming. However, once qualifying rounds began, they faced an uncommon string of technical and design malfunctions, strong opposing alliances and a large dose of bad luck to find themselves in 59th place after the first seven of 10 qualifying matches. “We knew that the ranking did not truly reflect our robot’s performance on the field, or the capabilities of our drive team and pit crew, but it’s tough for any team to stay hopeful after such a rough first day,” said the team’s head coach, Tommy Smeltzer. “They did it though. They kept at it and found a way to win.”
After a lively team dinner, Friday night, 1138’s student leaders met to discuss their options. Knowing that the top ranked teams would be choosing two alliance partners to compete with them in the finals and that the prodigious scorers would need a strong defensive partner to get them past other high-scoring teams, they decided to adopt a new strategy in their final three qualifiers to demonstrate the robot’s strong defensive capabilities. The plan worked, and 1138 was chosen by the top-seeded alliance comprised of two previous world champions, teams 987 from Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas and Team 254 from Bellarmine College Preparatory in the San Francisco Bay area. This powerhouse alliance, with Team 1138 shutting down the offensive stars of the opposing alliances, was able to sweep each round of the finals and take home the tournament championship. Each of the teams now progress to the FRC National Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 24-27.