Lindsey Scott is a rookie and a Senior at Trout Lake High School on Team 3711. She and Maggie Baker participated in the 2012 Girls Generation at Catlin Gable. Here is what Lindsey wrote the event:
“Move to the left, no to the left, no your other left! Down Maggie, no too far, back up, stop moving!”, calmly stated our pit crew. They actually were surprisingly calm seeing as they had just handed over the controls to two complete amateurs.
Where normally the guys on our team like to control the robot, this wasn’t the case on Saturday, October 22 at an event called Girls Generation. This event was held by team 1540, nicknamed the Flaming Chickens, and took place at the Catlin Gabel School in Portland. This robotics competition was special in that only girls could control the robot. Because only two of our four girls could attend the event, we put controls in the hands of Lindsey Scott and Maggie Baker. Both girls were completely new to robotics and only had two practice sessions prior to the event. Surprisingly, considering they had very little experience, the girls did pretty well in the event and improved with every round of competition.
Halfway through the competition the Iron Mustangs had one of the top ten scores when sadly the scoring system broke. The girls continued to improve their skills by doing practice rounds with the other teams even though it wouldn’t count for points. By the end the girls had lost track of how many competitions they had competed but they estimated that they must have done at least nine rounds. That’s a lot for a beginner.
“Girls Generation,” said Scott “was a great way for me to start off my first year in robotics. It not only gave me some hands on experience, but it also gave me a chance to see how a robotics team really works.”
Both girls really enjoyed the competition but were surprised by the overall attitude of the competition.
“When I think of a competition, I think of two sides trying everything in their power to beat each other,” said Baker, “but First Robotics seems to have a very different definition. One of the very first things we discovered when we arrived at the competition was that we had broken a chain. Instead of just packing up and going home another team came and gave us the part we needed. At first I found this a little weird, I mean by not giving us the chain they would increase their chances of winning. There is a real sense of camaraderie. Everyone wants to help you. They want to have the best robot but they also want you to have the best robot. You just can’t find that anywhere else.”
Having just started on the robotics team, and having no prior experience, the girls still felt that they relied very heavily on the crew that came to help them. Among them were Lucas King, Alex King, Ben Vollema, and their mentor Sally Wells.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Scott. “Maggie and I really didn’t know what we were doing except what we learned from our short two sessions. I look forward to this year when we get to build a whole new robot and I can learn how it really works.”
The girls really enjoyed this competition. Unfortunately Lindsey will graduate this year and will not be able to compete in this competition next year, but Maggie still has two more years and is looking forward to it. This is a great opportunity for all the girls on the team and hopefully next year more will be able to compete.