Congratulations Team Miss Daisy from Wissahickon High School in Pennsylvania and their mentor Kirsten Jahn Richardson! As the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship winners, Team Miss Daisy is competing in the the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.
Other SWE sponsored teams at the championships:
Team 179 Children of the Swamp from Suncoast Community High School in Florida, Mentor Lisa Smith
Team 4911 Cyber Knights of King’s High School in Washington State, Menor Kayla King
Team 5417 A-Team Robotics from Allen High School in Texas, Mentor Greg Burnham
SWE Program Development Grant winners:
Team 4455 Burger Bots from Warrensburg High School in Missouri, Mentor Brian Holmgren
Team 341, Miss Daisy is excited about this year’s FIRST® Robotics Competition game, FIRST® Stronghold. This medievalthemed game requires two alliances of three robots each. Alliances earn points by breaching their opponent’s defenses and capturing their tower. The game poses many challenges, requiring the robot to have many features, including traversing and manipulating field obstacles, shooting 10 inch balls (boulders) into their opponent’s tower seven feet off the ground, and climbing the tower to capture it.
To tackle these challenges, Miss Daisy collectively decided on an optimal strategy. We prioritized driving, shooting, intaking, and hanging as our four main objectives. After dividing into prototyping teams for four weeks, our robot is now finished in CAD, driving over defenses, and intaking boulders. We still have to mount the shooter and hanging mechanisms, but it shouldn’t be long until the robot is complete. We would like to thank all build team coaches for guiding and advising the prototype teams with their experience and knowledge.
Our Media, Public Relations, and Website teams have also been busy. Media has been documenting our progress throughout build season, interviewing members, capturing video, and taking pictures. They plan on releasing a robot reveal video and a documentary by the end of build season. The Public Relations team has also been busy updating our business plan, contacting sponsors, and writing award entries. The Website team has launched a brand new website and it looks great. Check it out at team341.com!
More Than a Robot
Building and designing robots is not all we do on Team 341. Community outreach is a large part of who we are as a team. Our goal is to inspire and inform people about STEM. We are constantly demonstrating at schools and events throughout the year to reach as many people as possible.
As a way to interact with the public, we created a program called Sparky’s Robot World. It consists of robots that pick up and shoot balls. These pintsize 50 pound robots, standing at waist height, are designed to be robust and simple to operate. They are easily controlled by anyone 3 to 103. Just this season, we took them to all of our local elementary schools, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and our sponsor, Comcast. We plan on taking them to even more places in the future.
Miss Daisy is like a garden. It is a place for children to grow and mature into confident young adults. Our culture is centered around our motto “We Build People.” We encourage students to push their boundaries, running training seminars during our off season, and requiring all rookies to go through shop training.
The involvement of women is an important part of who we are. We are lucky to have such a high rate of female involvement at 46% of our 57member team. These numbers have created an allfemale electrical team, as well as female leaders in mechanical subteams and media. We also have female shop mentors who are engineers in the field that volunteer their time to help inspire the next generation of engineers. A rarity in FIRST®, we also have a female head coach. Kirsten Jahn Richardson has been with our team from the beginning, first as a student, then as an alumni and head of media, to our fulltime head coach. We couldn’t thank our mentors and coaches enough for their dedication and guidance. There is something special growing in our garden. Come and check us out!
Editor’s Note: FIRST Robotics Competition teams may apply for a grant from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) if the team makes a commitment to gender equity. Out of 300 teams to apply, SWE gave $1,000 grants to 20 teams competing this year. The program is funded by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. The gender ratio on these teams must be at least 50/50 girls to boys. They must have a girl driver and complete SWE’s Outreach 4 Change online modules, which provide age-appropriate diversity and inclusion training.