by Brigid Duffy ‘22
STEAM Lab—This past March, the Robotics Team, 1965 Firebirds, attended two FIRST Robotics competitions. Our first competition was the NE District North Shore Event in Reading, which took place from March 18th to 20th and our second was the NE District Greater Boston Event in Revere, which took place from March 25th to 27th. With two competitions back to back, it is an understatement to say that the members of the team had a packed schedule.
This year’s game, Rapid React, was transportation themed and set the two main goals for robots to achieve as shooting large tennis balls into goals and climbing a monkey-bar-like setup. To learn more about this year’s game, I would recommend watching the game animation or reading the game manual.
1965 Firebirds decided, early in the season, that we would create a robot that would transport the game pieces from the ground to a lower hub on the field, and have it climb from the ground to the middle monkey bar: two goals that were achieved during the competitions. The real achievement though, in the opinion of many, was having a functional robot in six weeks, made by a majority rookie team, who withstood the test of two long competitions.
Although the team didn’t win any major awards, we definitely proved our (and the robot’s) resilience by making it through a total of 24 two and a half minute qualification matches. Throughout these matches, our driver Owen Weitzler ’25 gained practical experience and as well as that made some pretty major accomplishments for our team during competitions. One of these accomplishments was being one of all three robots on our alliance to climb a monkey bar, effectively almost earning us a rank point (I say almost because we, unfortunately, received a yellow card instead for interference when climbing).
Overall though, the team was happy with the experience and the achievements we made those two weekends. As well as this, I believe that it was a perfect send-off for the five seniors that will be leaving the team behind next year: Kristen Coleman ‘22, Annabelle Pappas ‘22, Maddie Gilmartin ‘22, Bella Millie ‘22, and me (Brigid Duffy ‘22)! Of course though, we can’t end the season properly without a thank you to all of the mentors that joined us this season, Mr. Ward, and especially, Ms. Gipson. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Team at Competition in Reading
Some of our brilliant sophomore members helping with inspection (from left to right: inspector, Patrick Duffy ‘24, Dasha Nikitina ‘24, and Ambrogio ‘24)
Drive Team Members Noelle Anderson ‘24 and Owen Weitzler ‘25
1965 Firebirds Robot dubbed “the sloth” because of its sloth-like arms that assist in climbing
Another senior robotics team members photo (starting with Anabelle Pappas ‘22 (red hat) going counter-clockwise: Annabelle Pappas ‘22, Bella Millie ‘22, Kristen Coleman ‘22, Maddie Gilmartin ‘22, and Brigid Duffy ‘22).
Working on the robot in the lab
A view of the robotics lab on a Saturday morning