12th Annual Kickoff
On Saturday, January 5th, 2019, after months of anticipation and hard work, teams gathered in Skillman, New Jersey at Montgomery High School for the 12th annual kickoff, which officially began the build season.
Before the official Kickoff was broadcasted, students had the opportunity to attend workshops held by mentors and Team 1403 members to learn about different aspects of robotics. The workshop topics included pneumatics, gearboxes & transmissions, and fundraising. These workshops taught members of FIRST how to do certain things crucial to the success of their teams. After all the workshops had concluded, the teams gathered together for the revealing of the 2019 challenge. Prior to the event, a number of speakers gave inspirational speeches to their audience, applauding FIRST, as well as teaching important life skills such as dedication and teamwork.
After a long and enthusiastic wait, the Kickoff was broadcasted from New Hampshire. This year’s game theme was FIRST in space. Each alliance competes to score more points by attaching hatch panels over the gaps in a model cargo ship, and put cargo balls into it. A model rocket with three levels is also set up on the field for each alliance, where hatch panels must be secured before cargo balls are added. The unique aspect of this year’s challenge is the Sandstorm Period, where a blind is lowered for the first fifteen seconds of the match, obscuring driver visibility. Teams will have to either move the robot autonomously or attach a camera and manually control it for this time.
Kickoff officially started the 6 week build season for Team 1403. During the upcoming build season, all members will work together to prepare for competition and create a successful final product.