Newsletter: Triple Helix 1st overall pick & semifinalists in Portsmouth!

Triple Helix students, mentors, and parents came together as a team for a very long– and very fun– weekend that included ranking 6th at the conclusion of qualification rounds and making a strong run into the semifinals as the first pick of #1 alliance captain FRC 190.

At this event we debuted our brand-new Level 2 climb capability, which we employed in each of our elimination matches.  We also found that the robot improvements we made since the Haymarket competition resulted in a more robust climb to the 3rd level of the Habitat, and we continued to make the most of our development time between matches at the event to improve our robot even further.  Our scouting, strategy, and awards presentation teams also did wonderfully, learning from their experience at our previous event to step up their game and deliver an even better product.

Yesterday evening I was reflecting on what happened over the last few days, and I was thinking of this quote from Apollo 16 astronaut Ken Mattingly as quoted in the film For All Mankind:  “We all are in this together as a team effort. We’re going to make it work. And I don’t know how to make it [all] work– I don’t know how to do most of this mission. But I do know, and I can assure you, that my piece of it is going to work. And it won’t fail because of me.”  This weekend, every Triple Helix team member can definitely say this and be extremely proud of their work.

We were also recognized by the judges with the Creativity Award, which is a technical award that celebrates creativity in design, use of component, or strategy of play.  This award is considered part of the set of engineering awards that also features Industrial Design, Quality, Innovation in Control, and Excellence in Engineering.  Triple Helix has won each of those awards in the past, but never Creativity, so this completes the set!  We are now among a VERY small community of teams who have earned all of the engineering awards at some point in their history.  As a team that sees the engineering challenge of FRC as an effective tool for making a difference with our students, we are very happy to receive this award.

At the end of the event, we assisted with teardown of the playing field and earned a (slightly used) carpet in exchange for our help.  Over the summer this carpet will be installed into the Peninsula STEM Gym, replacing the existing carpet which was originally sourced from the 2013 Virginia Regional.

Thanks to FIRST Chesapeake, the host team FRC 3359, Menchville HS, and all our wonderful sponsors for making this weekend’s experience possible!  We are now setting our sights on the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship in early April.