November 13, 2017
On Saturday, November 11, 2017 the Killer Bees of Notre Dame Preparatory finished the FIRST Robotics Competition offseason by co-hosting the 5th annual All Girls Tournament in partnership with teams from Bloomfield Hills High School, International Academy – Central and Brandon Schools. After six rounds of qualifying matches, the Killer Bees partnered with FRC Teams 2337 (Grand Blanc), 240 (Monroe) and 4961 (Almont) to win the tournament.
The tournament provides women on FIRST Robotics Competition teams the opportunity to drive and operate robots built by students and professional engineers. The “pit crews” must be all female as well. Other team members provided advice, assistance, scouting data and input on strategy. This event provides all students on the team with new perspectives and opportunities to perform in new roles.
Photo Credit: Nick Coussens
Thirty-two teams, from Michigan and Canada participated in the event, brought more than 300 high school aged women to the competition giving them the opportunity to meet college representatives, compete with robots and earn scholarships. Junior Lorena Dorantes, a member of the Killer Bees commented, “It was really cool to work with other girls and it was an unbelievable experience to be behind the glass driving the robot for the first time. It was fun to learn with other girls on the team. I really enjoyed setting up the robot for the match and getting it down safely after it climbed the rope. I learned more about how strategy comes into game play.”
The FIRST Alumni and Mentors Network from the University of Michigan provided many volunteers for the event. The college students took a break from their homework, sharing their expertise and knowledge with the high school students. Amanda Kline was named as Volunteer of the Year for her work as a technical resource for the participating high school teams.
Five $1000 scholarships were awarded to senior women from FRC teams 772 Sabre Bytes (Lasalle, Ontario), 2834 Bionic Black Hawks (Bloomfield Hills), 68 Truck Town Thunder (Brandon), 1189 the Gear Heads (Grosse Pointe), 3322 the Eagle Imperium (Ann Arbor). Faurecia of Auburn Hills and Thyssen Krupp provided generous support to the scholarship fund.
The team competed this weekend at MARC in Monroe. As is the tradition, it was a very warm and steamy gym in late June, but we kept cool with free ice cream and air conditioned pit areas. At the end of the qualification matches, we were ranked #2 and were selected by Goodrich RoboticsTeam 494 Martians as the #1 Alliance and added Robostangs 548. We battled hard in 3 matches in quarterfinals and 3 exciting final matches, earning the finalist trophy and a judged award for our autonomous routines.
Congratulations to Team 51 (Pontiac Wings of Fire) and The EngiNERDs – Team 2337 and FIRST Team 1732 – Hilltopper Robotics from Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the 2017 MARC Champions.
As a side note – one of our Killer Bee rules is “Never Give Up”. Team 2337 was in last place at the end of the qualification matches on Friday night and ended up as the 16th ranked team and ultimately as the MARC winner.
Our next competition is the Indiana Robotics Invitational in July!
Cheering on our Team to Victory
Excited to have Won the 2017 State Championship
This past weekend was the FIRST in Michigan State Competition. It was held at Saginaw Valley State University’s unBEElievable facility where the top 160 teams from the state competed for the Michigan State Championship. In the first year with assigned divisions at MSC, the Killer Bees were assigned to the Dow division along with 39 other amazing teams.
On the first day, our team consistently was spectacular by shooting fuel, delivering gears to the airship, and hanging at the end of every match. After the first day, our team was ranked 3rd and had a record of 3-1. On the second day, our team continued our success, going into alliance selection as #1 seed with a record of 10-2.
As first seed, our team was the alliance captain of the #1 alliance in the Dow division. Thanks to our scouting data, we picked Team 2834, the Bionic Black Hawks, and Team 469, Las Guerrillas. After a set of tough matches, our 3-2-1 alliance won the Dow division playoffs with a 10-0 record! By winning our division, we headed into playoffs with the other three division winners (Consumers Energy, DTE Energy Foundation, and Ford). Our alliance beat the fantastic DTE alliance in the Semifinals and the outstanding Ford alliance in the Finals without going to a single rubber match. All our hard work paid off with the State Championship win alongside our partners 2834 and 469! Not only that, but our alliance never missed a hang and almost got the fourth rotor in every single match. The Killer Bees BUZZED with excitement after finishing the weekend as #1 in the FIRST in Michigan standings, and our team will continue to further our success at the St. Louis FIRST World Championships next week.
You can watch our MSC Video here.
Human Player Feeding Gears to our Robot
Our third and final district was in Windsor. The Bees were BUZZing with excitement to travel BEE-yond international borders for the first time since 2004. We were able to collaborate with teams that we usually do not get to work with. It was great to BEE in Canada and have our team sing the American national anthem at the BEEgining of both days.
The first day in Windsor was unBEElievable. Our auton was greatly improved thanks to the countless hours from our drive team. Our record was 3-4-1 and we were ranked 15th. We continued our great success on the second day and, we were ranked 3rd and had a record of 7-4-1 going into alliance selection. We were happy to BEE part of the number 1 alliance with 772 as alliance captain and rookie team 6331.
We performed unBEElievably well in the playoffs even though we had issues. During semifinals match 2 our robot broke down and as a result, there was a field fault. Our RIO was shorted out, and we were unable to compete in Semifinal match two and lost. Luckily we have an amazing pit crew that did not give up and was able to get our RIO replaced by the BEEginning of semifinal match 3. We won the third semifinal match and were finalists. We also won the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox. We did amazing at Windsor thanks to teams 772 and 6331, and we would also like to thank the University of Windsor for having us.