The robotics team had a phenomenal return to the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition space this year after almost two years of not being able to compete.
Encouraged by their first place Inspire Award win at a qualifying match in December of 2019, the team was poised and ready to take their robot to the next level in the spring of 2020. 唉, 随着大流行的到来, 他们的竞争选择被排除在外, but the 2020-2021 school year proved to be an excellent opportunity to work on skill building, 技术实力, 以及团队精神.
最后, 2021年9月到来, and the team was all hands on deck to prepare for their first qualifying match of the year in December. 致Evin Watson, 计算机科学教员和机器人团队顾问, being back in the Schoolhouse was essential to the success of the team—on multiple levels.
“Building robots is a hands-on process and being together with the materials is critical for that process. 但在一起不仅对机器人的构造很重要, 这对团队成员也很重要. 它有助于协作, 以及沟通和年轻学生, who may not have found their place in the Schoolhouse and the in-person meetings are a time to be together with students who share their interests. 尤其是低年级学生, there is something tremendously valuable about having that time with the upperclassmen,他说.
作为联邦贸易委员会竞赛的一部分, 参赛队伍需要建造一个尺寸约为18英寸x18英寸x18英寸的机器人。. This year’s robot was tasked with picking up wiffle balls and placing them in off balance stacking hubs. The team was fired up—being back building and competing in-person felt wonderful.
联合队长Zoe S. ' 22指出，“FTC竞赛对他们来说有很大的能量! 每个人都盛装打扮，跳舞庆祝. 当然, it was very challenging to come back from the pandemic (half our team had never done robotics “for real” before since we met online last year), 但这让我们对回归更加热情和兴奋!”
After many weekday afternoons and many “Saturday builds” spent in the Makerspace, the team participated in the first qualifier of the season in early December. They placed 10th out of 15 and successfully won the Motivate Award—thereby ensuring their place at the next qualifier.
联合队长Ilana P. ’22, being on the robotics team has encouraged her to explore deeper into the world of computer science, 人工智能, 还有机器学习. Participating in the competitions provided the opportunity to continue asking questions. “There was never a point at which I felt that our robot was completely done because there was always a way to do better. Some of my fondest memories come from calculating strategies during the competition with the other teams that we would meet, while bonding over our collective knowledge and insights about the competition,Ilana说.
The final qualifier of the season took place at the High School for Construction Trades, 工程, 以及2月5日的《bet365手机版》. 在难以置信的一天之后, 夜鹰队获得了连接奖第一名, which guaranteed their place in the city wide competition in March—marking the furthest the team had ever progressed.
“I remember that when it was announced that our team would be moving onto the next level—everyone was extremely excited. 我们互相拥抱，欢呼雀跃，喜极而泣. It was one of those moments where everyone on the team came together to celebrate our accomplishments and speculate about the future,佐伊分享道.
3月6日的比赛很激烈，但这支队伍坚持住了. 在30场比赛中排名第17，并获得第三名的推广奖, 这支球队出色地完成了一个赛季. 这一点尤其值得注意，因为正如Zoe上面所指出的, 团队中超过一半的人之前没有使用过这种材料的经验. 她阐述了, “They developed their skill sets by directly engaging with topics that the competition goals lead us to find. 我们都从“做”中学习!’”
在整个赛季中. Watson was consistently impressed by the team’s drive to keep making improvements. 他指出, 在每场比赛之间, 我们对机器人的设计作了重大修改/改进. We competed three times this year and each time we had a robot that was significantly different. That took a lot of work and a willingness by the students to not be satisfied by their designs and keep pushing, 作为一个团队，持续取得成功最重要的是什么.”
Both Zoe and Ilana agreed that the wider robotics community has been incredibly supportive and they have worked to cultivate that same tight-knit community within the team at Nightingale. 当他们6月份毕业时，他们的领导力将在未来几年得到体现.
“我希望我是带着一起学习的精神离开球队的. 我在机器人领域的第一年，我们的团队相对较新. 结果是, we all had to learn how to do robotics together–we learned how to code by all coding together, 如何通过一起实验来构建, 等. 从那时起, I’ve tried to encourage that same spirit of teaching that I experienced as a younger student. 我希望看到团队继续这样做，”佐伊反思道.
Ilana指出, “I hope I left them with the motivation and belief that with hard work and perseverance they can achieve any of their goals! 我知道，作为这个团队的领导者是一个巨大的学习经验, and I hope that in the future the captains and members will have more ideas on how to work more efficiently together as a team, 更有效地交流他们的想法, 从我们的经历和斗争中学习. 在未来, I hope our robotics team continues along the path of establishing our presence as a competitive team (that’s hard to beat!)在未来的纽约机器人比赛中.”
随着赛季接近尾声，特朗普先生开始了他的比赛. Watson was feeling immensely proud of the team and excited for what is still to come in the future. “学生们对这个团队的投入是巨大的. Our season spans multiple athletic seasons and keeps students in the building late after school and on many weekends—and this commitment isn’t often known to the wider community. 虽然它在我们的社区里看起来很小众, 这些是数以千计的学生参加的世界性比赛. 在一天结束的时候, 在机器人的构建周期中，有太多的失败空间, 即使是最简单的机器人也是一种成就.”
跟随机器人团队的持续成功, 一定要关注他们的Instagram @nighthawk_robotics.