Articles Written By: Mary

Reflecting on 2016 Season


2016 was a pretty successful year for the Killer Bees. This year was the 21st year of our team being around. We attended two district competitions, The Michigan State Championship, and The St. Louis Championship. We had a good performance overall at all of these events.

2016 Bag Day Pic6

Our first competition was at The FIM Waterford District where we had an average OPR of 34.55 and seeded second overall. Our robot didn’t connect to the field for the first 3 matches, but we overcame that problem! We gratefully accepted an invitation to join the first alliance with Team 67, The HOT Team and Team 4003, Trisonics. We played against the 8th alliance consisting of Team 3773,  Team 5662, and Team 3302. We won in quarterfinals by a 54 lead in the first match, and 101 point lead in the second match.  In semifinal matches we played against the 4th alliance consisting of Team 201, Team 3667, and Team 4779. We won by 70 points in our first match and 66 points in the second match. In the final matches we played against the 3rd alliance,  consisting of Team 5860, Team 355, and Team 5048. We won by 67 points in the first match and by 83 points n the second match! In addition to being the District Event winner, we also won the District Chairman’s Award! Overall this event was very successful!


Our second competition was at the FIM Troy District where we had an average OPR of 55.05 and seeded first overall. We requested the assistance of Team 1718, The Fighting Pi, and Team 5068, The Outsiders. We played against the 8th alliance consisting of Team 4961, Team 6120, and Team 862. In quarterfinals we won by 32 points in the first match and 53 points in the second. In semifinals we played against the 5th alliance consisting of Team 2851, Team 573, and Team 6108. We won the first match by 32 points and the second by 24. In the finals, we played against the second alliance consisting of Team 2337, Team 3539, and Team 6013. We won the first match by 9 points and the second match by 22! In addition to being the District Event winner we also won  the Quality Award!


Our third competition of the year was the FIM State Championship. At MSC we met Rick Snyder and Don Bossi! We had an average OPR of 61.47. We gratefully accepted an invitation to join the 1st alliance with Team 2767, Stryke Force, and Team 1684, The Chimeras. We won our first octofinal match by 67 points. Sadly we lost the last two matches by 7 and 2 points! After we were eliminated we managed to get all the changes we wanted to do at St.Louis Championship done before pits closed! We were able to qualify for the World Championship! Congratulations to our friends 27 Team Rush, 67 The HOT Team, 1718 The Fighting Pi, and 6086 Igniton!


Our fourth competition of the year was The St. Louis Championship! We were placed in the Tesla Division. We met up with the other IFI teams and learned about each others robots and took a great photo! Our average OPR was 62.08 and we were the first pick of the 3rd alliance. We teamed up with Team 2834, the Bionic Blackhawks, Team 1756, Argos, and Team 329, Mohawks. We played against the 6th alliance, consisting of Team 4391, Team 5117, Team 2337, and Team 5854. We won quarterfinals by 67 points in the first match and by 29 points in the second match. We played against the 2nd alliance, consisting of Team 2451, Team 1806, Team 1306, and Team 2194. We won semifinals by 98 points in the first match and by 57 points in the second match. We then played against the 1st alliance, consisting of Team 2056, Team 1690, Team 3015, and Team 1405. We lost quarterfinals by 65 points in the first match and by 40 points in the second match.  Thanks to our alliance to help us be the Tesla Division Finalists! Also Congratulations to the 1st alliance representing Tesla on Einstein!


Overall, Buzz XXI had a successful year! Thanks to all our mentors, sponsors and our parents who made everything possible!


What Did I Get Myself Into?


On the Killer Bees, new students have an interview to see if they will get on the team.  When I signed up for my interview I was  a mix of excited and scared. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. As a freshman, I signed up for (too many) clubs so the only time I could get an interview space was the last slot of the day. I sat on the couches in the main triangle waiting for someone to come get me for the interview. I was greeted by Jim Zondag. I had no idea who he was at the time. As my interview progressed, Julia Green along with Tim Grogan finished their interviews so they joined me in a large conference room. I was so nervous. 3 main mentors were interviewing me! I was a awkward and hyper little freshman so I didn’t really know how to act. I answered the questions I was asked timidly (in a really awkward and excited way of course.) Towards the end of my interview Jess and Ellen, two of the upperclassmen on the team,  walked into the conference room. They started raving about how great robotics was and how much fun they had. This was the moment I knew I had to be on the team. I didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into, but I knew it was something good. 🙂

St. Joseph Outreach

On June 6th, the Killer Bees visited St. Joseph School in Lake Orion, Michigan to talk about outreach and demonstrate our robot. We presented to the whole school. We talked about we do.

We are high school students who compete in FIRST robotic challenge. We have a shop at the Chrysler Tech Center. We have been competing for nineteen years. We have won local, state, and national competitions and awards. We showed the children our reveal video and then started to drive our robot. We explained how the collector, wings, and catapult work. We explained how we have a new game and robot each year. We explained to the children that you don’t have to Notre Dame Prep to join robotics. Almost every high school that children from St. Joseph School attend has a robotics team.

We also explained how you don’t have to be a nerd/math person to join robotics. We talked about the public relation side of our team.  We explained that people are needed to make videos, write essays, design this BEEutiful website, document the robotics season, and update social media.

As a team, we participate in much outreach. We participate in the purple alliance, knit hats for the homeless, mentor FLL, FTC, FRC teams, and host VEX tournaments.  We demonstrate our robot at schools and Maker Fair. We told them that you can do robotics with other school activities. We stressed that robots are fun!