From the moment the season started, our team has been working non-stop… we’ve dedicated our time and efforts to prepare for this year’s regional, so that we could give our best during the competition, in Quebec. After packing the robot, all that was left to do was handling some issues so that we could finally take off. Days before our trip, the team was already packing everything, from baggage to documents.
Then, the day finally arrived, the much-expected Monday, the 1st of April, 2019. 5800 was super ready to embark for our new adventure. This take, in Canada.
Some traveling for the first time, others with more baggage, but all of us excitingly anxious and full of expectations!
The team was divided into three groups. Out of the 16 members chosen to travel with 5800, one of them was coming directly from Germany, three of them had taken off early in the morning and at the end of the day, the rest of the members finally emplaned.
The members from the first 2 groups arrived, however, they had to wait for the rest of the team at the airport in Montreal. Meanwhile, the larger group were already on their way to North America.
As the red sun rose in the sky of the North American coast, the larger group finally landed in Miami. Everything went significantly well apart from some issues with our connections, as we thought the connection period was longer and unfortunately missed one of our flights and got stuck in Miami, US, for a day.
We could have freaked out over it, but that wouldn’t have solved our problem, so instead, we decided to work on fixing the problem. The company then began to try to get us on a plane, and one by one we eventually managed to get everyone out of the US and onto Montreal.
Meanwhile, part of the team that was already in Montreal managed to get one of the cars we had rented and drove off to Quebec City.
The sun had set and the competition was getting closer. Meanwhile, some of us were in New York, some in Charlotte and some in Miami, where the group had to sleep over that night...
As the first day of the competition arrived, one more group of team members landed in Montreal and now only 5 members were yet to board to Canada.
Once everybody finally got together at the house we rented, the feeling of “mission accomplished” prevailed, but we should remember that this was only one of many missions to be accomplished.
On 04/06, it was the day for the test matches and there we were, still astounded by the amount of snow on the roads. We arrived at the event center, where the team was welcomed by an extraordinary regional, which was extremely organized and immediately filled us with an urge to compete. Lots of test matches going on, final adjustments to the robots, scouting to get to know other teams, searching for information on the Chairman's presentation venue, among many other things our team got done that day.
On the next day, the qualifying matches started. Early on, the team arrived at the competition venue and started their activities. We had already received the schedule of matches, when our robot would come into play and also the list of teams that would compete with us.
On that same day, we also had our chairman's presentation, to which we took the elaborate video the team produced, and had an oral presentation, all in addition to the text that we had already sent FIRST back in February. Producing the Chairman’s award requirements, as difficult and tiring as it was, it was truly a unique experience…
It was also dean's list day, I, Augusto, marketing student and engineering student Yumi, went to the place where we had our interview (a little nervous but confident), and individually answered the judges' various questions based on the text that our mentors had to write about us and our contributions to FIRST and the STEAM community.
Awards aside, 5800 continued to devote efforts to the improvement of Antares (our robot's name), so that in every match it was as perfect as it could be, and the PIT team made adjustments throughout the matches, earning us a lot of points at the end of the day.
Finally, and unfortunately, the last day of the competition arrived, which could easily be called MEMORABLE!! During the morning, more qualifying matches took place, the last ones… once they were done, there was the choice of alliances, in which, basically, the first 8 winning teams selected two more teams each to compose their alliances.
Our mission inside the arena was over, we didn't make it to the finals but every effort made to make it all work made us feel a sense of mission accomplished. Little did we know we still had much to do, and to celebrate…
After the lunch break, as we eagerly awaited the awards, we were able to enjoy incredible matches with very high performing robots. The finals took place and there were teams happily waiting for the awards.
But there is not only one prize in the competition, there are several, and as soon as the awards ceremony began, we became apprehensive, and very attentive. About four awards had already been announced when the Team Spirit Award winners were announced, and I confess that we were caught off guard when the host of the competition began to make team spirit associations with football… This could have been just a funny coincidence, but with only one Brazilian team at the regional, this caught our attention.
Acompanhamos cada palavra que o apresentador anunciava, até que pudemos ouvir a frase “The Team Spirit Award goes to 5800 Magic Island Robotics!!!” (“O prêmio de espírito de equipe vai para a 5800 Magic Island Robotics”). Posso afirmar que foi um dos momentos mais emocionantes da minha vida, sair com a equipe inteira correndo da arquibancada para ir buscar um prêmio que tínhamos acabado de conquistar.
But it doesn't end there as soon as we returned to the bleachers, yet another surprise, the announcement of the Dean's List individual award winning students, and there it was, Yumi was announced as Dean's List Finalist.
As the awards were given, many teams which we are friends with were awarded, and our team, Magic Island, coming home with 2 awards… It was a great day!
But it didn't end there, because that night we received a visit from the Australian team Barker Robotics. It was a lot of fun, we had lots of pizza, exchanged uniforms and made new friends, it was an unforgettable experience.
Our greatest mission was fulfilled: representing our city, our state and our country, in the largest robotics competition in the world, in the regional Quebec, Canada.
GETTING TO KNOW CANADA
From now on, we had even more to learn, we were in a beautiful country, with a super receptive population, and willing to explore everything we could.
We visited museums and ecological parks, had typical foods and also visited some shops to buy traditional souvenirs. In the following photos we can see those moments:
Something that we highly value is the contact with other teams, so during one of the last days of our trip, we visited the school of one of the teams that were part of the regional (Ultime 5528) and they could better show us the structure of the team and such things. Unfortunately, not all members were able to make this visit, as, due to the extremely low temperatures and the rush, they ended up getting sick, so taking them out of the house feverish on days of snowfall might not do them good. Here we have some more photos of this visit:
It was more than 10 days of immersion, where we could learn so much, not just technical knowledge, but also new cultures, new languages, getting to know our teammates better and showing them that we have each other’s backs. We developed and refined our Team Spirit, which has always helped us face all our problems with our heads up, and this time, we have been recognized for it through a wonderful award.
Our team thanks everyone involved, family, friends, supporters, etc. You were so important in our journey as you helped us have such an incredible experience. See you next time!