|The Crusading Cucumbers from San Antonio contest|
The Crusading Cucumbers, team #3768, won the “Inspire,” on Thursday March 3, 2011 at the Alamo Regional Championship in San Antonio.
And the Fighting Pickles, team #127, won the same "Inspire" award at the SW Regional contest hosted by UTA two days later on Saturday March 5.
The Inspire award is the highest award FTC gives; it means the team embodies all the aspects FIRST perceives as the model team to promote STEM concepts.
(STEM refers to Scientific, Technological, Engineering, and Mathematical concepts.)
Based on this accomplishment, both teams earned an automatic invite to the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Lewis, Missouri in late April.
As if that isn’t enough, The Crusading Cucumbers, also captained the winning alliance team at the Alamo contest and won the whole competitive portion of the Alamo FTC competition. This would also earn them an automatic invite to the world contest, but it got passed on to our friendly alliance partner, The Dragons, team #3937 of South Lake Carroll.
In addition, at the SW contest an 11th grade Summit HS computer science student, Clark Navidad, got offered an internship from a Richardson/Plano area software company. A parent sponsor of a Plano, Jasper HS, team offered this internship based on Clark’s ability to problem solve, communicate and use critical thinking skills to fix all his teams programming problems under the stress of the contest constraints. It was truly impressive. Without Clark’s help the Plano robot would not have been able to compete. Other programming students, helped with at least six other teams at the contest, from updating firmware to setting up and explaining the programming environment.
Finally, while still at the contest, Fighting Pickles programmers, Clark Navidad and Mike Kojder, received word that they had advanced to the national level contests for Business Professionals of America. Clark Navidad will compete in C++ and Mike Kojder will compete in Java programming, at the BPA National contest in Washington DC.
The students were all amazing and the success is almost overwhelming. James Wilson and I were blown away by how all these students went about taking care of business throughout the contest. To say we are beaming with pride would be an understatement. We had teams lining up waiting for our assistance, and even the contest officials were coming to us for help on occasion. We were without a doubt the most spirited teams at each contest.