I had a blast at the Houston Regional Championship for the FLL Hydrodynamics season.
Where are all the monster trucks? You won't find any here. This is where we separate the truly efficient machines from the toys. Don't let the little girls in pink capes distract you, they are the engineers of the future. See how they roll:
0:06 Start of 1st Robot Run (Filter r3)
0:11 Filter Mission scores with Jada's Claw (M05 - 30 pts)
0:18 Start of 2nd Robot Run (Pump r8)
0:22 Flow attempted with Ava's Lever Turner but does not score (M02)
0:30 Pump Addition scores (M03 - 20 pts)
0:39 Rain Cloud engaged using Laura's Rainmaker and drops rain to score (M04 - 20 pts)
0:57 Start of 3rd Robot Run (HWRPMFU r22)
1:05 Fountain Mission scores (M07 - 20 pts)
1:13 Water Treatment (Toilet) Mission attempted but does not score (M06)
1:25 Faucet Mission scores using Riya's Butt Lever (M18 - 25 pts)
1:33 Broken Pipe retrieved (M01 - 20 pts)
1:49 Start of 4th Robot Run (FlowerFire r15)
1:56 Tripod Placed using Laura's Tripod Holder, but does not score because all 3 feet are not touching the mat. (M09)
2:16 Big Water dropped into Flower Pot
2:18 Big Water engaged into Flower Pot (M13 - 30 pts)
2:24 Crowd starts cheering for the Fire Truck
2:32 Robot gets into place and starts pushing the Fire Truck (M15)
2:36 Ending buzzard sounds
2:39 Fire Truck puts out Fire (no points scored since this is after the buzzard)
2:49 Woman rants about how hard and rare the Fire Truck mission is! (Well the flower mission is pretty rare as well)
The Brainiac Maniacs attempted 11 missions within 4 robot runs. 7 missions scored, and 4 did not. But that was enough to get them 165 points out of a possible 255 which landed them in 8th place on the robot score which is the top 14%. The Champion's award only requires the top 40%, so they were among the 23 teams eligible to receive the award. And they did. This girl scout team of 9 rookie and 1 veteran member will be advancing to to the World Championship in Houston. Go Texans! (and girl power!)
If you can't get enough of them, check them out on YouTube doing a parody to Elton John's "I'm still standing".
I met Coach Natraj at the Martin Qualifier when he was standing in the sidelines with his team, Python Slayers. He had a very solemn but proud look on his face. His team was not doing so well on the playing field, but he wanted them to keep up their spirits, they still had a couple more rounds to go. His team was mostly rookies with a few members who had been coached by Coach Christina Morales whom I just met last month and noticed she shared a similar dedication to the league as myself. Natraj at least felt solace that his team did really well on their Project presentation because he understood it wasn't about winning. I am always looking for a good story to promote the mission of FIRST, so I suggested that my son Binh go and do a Pit Interview with them for us to share. Here is that interview:
It's great to see a talkative group of kids that can still show respect for each other as they promote each other as well as their team. I love the spontaneous kid who started humming the Jeopardy theme song when Binh had a problem coming up with another question.
I was amazed at the questions that Binh, my 12-year-old son, choose to ask this team. These are the same questions that rookie coaches ask that go unanswered. Perhaps he has a future career in journalism (though he should possibly leave the videography to someone else). Make sure you watch the video to hear some great answers to the following questions: (or should I say great questions to the following answers?)
I was delighted to hear at the award ceremony that the Python Slayers took home the 1st place Champions Award. And I was able to capture this treasured moment of them to take home with me so that I could share with you.
FLL Coach since 2015