My first year in FRC

By Avery Mattice, May 2019

As a Grade 9 student joining the Roboravens, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. With little experience in anything that the team needed, I  learned so much this year. The first few things were simple, some basics in pneumatics, wiring, drilling and the components of a FIRST robot. The next step was harder — choosing the subteam.

I could have joined build, programming, or even the business team, but I chose the design team and I don’t regret it.  Learning how to CAD was not an easy task, as there are so many places you could go wrong. When build season started I thought that I would never get the hang of it. Then as things progressed after many long nights of staring hopelessly into the computer screen, I was finally able to design some things to help.

My first few designs were some ideas for claw mechanisms (none of which made the final design). My next design was the power board for the robot. This design took days to finish, with many modifications, but it was worth it as it made the final cut! Another contribution I made was a spacer for the wheels of the bot, which were made on the 3D printer after I finished designing it. 

One of the hardest things about joining the team was feeling like I belonged as there were so many older, more experienced students. Seeing the dedication and time they had put into the robotics team intimidated me – how was I ever supposed to fit in here? The answer: I showed them that I was willing to try and put as much effort in as they did, and I even started to meet some new people. After getting my own robotics hoodie,  I finally felt like an actual part of the team. Going to the competitions, cheering with my team, watching the matches, scouting, and seeing all of the other teams made me realize how lucky I was to have made it into the FRC program. Missing out on the Roboravens would have made a pretty bad year even worse (I had some deaths in my family).

I can’t wait for the 2020 game to be released, so that I can be an even bigger help to my team in the coming year.

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