A lot has happened since we first met in September.
Our team of 5 FLL rookies has had one crazy year. After much pizza, sweat and tears our team made it through the Lake Zurich regional tournament in December and won the Judges Choice Award which qualified us for the Illinois State tournament in January.
Christmas and New Years fell in between our regional and state tournament and didn't leave us much time to prepare for state. But somehow we managed to add a few more potential points to our table run and tighten up our research project.
The Illinois state tournament was a blast! We ran from event to event over the two days the tournament took place. In between robot runs and judging events we got a chance to meet Steve Hassenplug, a Mindstorms guru that my kids and I admire.
Finally, at the end of two exhausting days we gathered in the bleachers with the other teams for the awards ceremony. There were a couple dozen bright yellow brick trophies centered on a table before us and we silently hoped our hard work would earn us one them. As the ceremony progressed and fewer and fewer awards were left to give out. Our hearts sank as we realized the remaining trophies were only for the top three teams. Then, certain we were finished, came the announcement that got robot? had won the 3rd Place Champions Award!
The 1st and 2nd place champion teams automatically qualified to move on to either the U.S. Open Championship in Dayton, OH or World Fest in Atlanta, GA. In the off chance either of those teams couldn't attend our team could take their place.
Both teams decided to go so we had our celebration party and disbanded the team until fall. But a couple weeks ago, in a strange twist of fate, one of the teams signed up for the U.S. Open could not attend so the open slot was extended to our team. We're going to the U.S. Open!!!!
With less than a month to regather the team and take the robot out of mothballs we've been busy trying to put the shine back into our project presentation and robot game. We only have a couple weeks remaining until the competition but we're rapidly getting back up to speed and we should be ready by May 7th to show Dayton what got robot? can do.