In this week’s mentor meeting, our mentors spoke to us about ways to overcome obstacles that we may face as a FIRST robotics team. We learned that many problems can be solved through simple yet effective designs. This is principle of KISS–keep it simple silly. Rather than trying to use every little idea that comes our way, a good design must focus on the broad ideas around a certain problem and solution. As build season approaches, it is important to keep our designs simple because, as we will see in our engineering challenge, complexity can create chaos.
This week’s engineering challenge embodied the KISS ideology very effectively. Team members were challenged to make a rocket out of little more than paper and tape that could be launched using an air tube. The rocket that would fly the farthest, therefore, was the one that was the most aerodynamic, or the one that has as little unnecessary clutter as possible attached to the rocket. Additionally, team members were challenged to use their ingenuity and creativity to succeed in the challenge.