The Vex Robotics Competition Team 7700R is a unique group of students representing seven different high schools in the Southbay area of Los Angeles. They come together at the Rolling Robots after school program in Rolling Hills Estates California. Most of the team members are veterans of our STEM Hall of Fame middle school team 7700B.
This year's challenge is the new Vex Starstruck event. The team got an early start beginning in the summer of 2016 and competed in their first event this August. Now it's October and they have already won 3 tournament championships, a design award, a robot skill award, and qualified for the California State Championship.
An early highlight of the season was the Pan Pacific Championship. This event is the pacific rim championship hosted in Hawaii with teams from Asia, Hawaii, and California, 60 teams registered and played over 3 days at the beautiful Kamehameha School in Honolulu Hawaii. The team designed, programmed, and trained throughout the summer for this event. We were able to have six team members and 5 parents travel to Hawaii to support this and they all had a great experience. The parents that did not travel kept in touch via internet, text, instagram, snapchat, and the VEX via app.
The view from the school was amazing!
Shortly after landing we arrived at the school and got the robot to the inspection table. The team made it through inspection with no discrepancies.
We had our first skills run on Saturday morning. We had consistently put up 55 points on our practice field. Today we had our new driver Steven to run skills and he put up 62 points. At first the team was elated knowing this was the highest score, but when they checked the rankings team 4142A from Pearl City had 64 points. We'll get 'em next time!
Our first match was against the Hawaiian Kids team 359A, the team that we lost to in the semi finals of the 2014 pacific championship. This was our first chance to face this team since 2014. The score was 30 to 15, not the blow-out we were looking for but still a big win for 7700R that raised our confidence and had the team eyeing the championship.
A Win for California
Together with the team 224 Sharks from Malibu California we won a match against an alliance of a Hawaii and Taiwanese team.
Behind closed doors the team had their judges interview for the Excellence and Design Award. Here they are just before entering the judges room.
Late on the final day 7700R faced their middle school competitor 394 Highlands Robotics. It was a hard-fought match with lots of strategic defense. In the end 7700R lost by a single point, with 26 to 25 being the final score. The team felt the cold slap of reality from this one, but learned important lessons for the future.
7700R ended the day ranked 5th overall and 2nd in skills. Alliance selection went well, and we formed an alliance with our friends from 4142A Pearl City and 2932A Mid Pacific Owl Robotics, “The Blue Claw.”
Discussing strategy with team 4142A from Pearl City.
Assisting our Alliance 2932A Mid Pacific Owl Robotics, “The Blue Claw.”
As judged awards were announced the team won the Design Award for their engineering design process and documentation.
Our Alliance won the tournament, here we are with our friends 4142A Pearl City and 2932A Mid Pacific Owl Robotics.
David Yutaka Ige is the Governor of the state of Hawaii. He attended the event on the final day and participated in the awards presentation. It was great to have this recognition from a state official. Occasionally you may get an appearance from an elected official at these events but Governor Ige made more than an “appearance” he spent most of the day watching the competition and meeting with teams.
Here is a fun picture we caught of him taking a selfie with our final score. He seemed to be really engaged in the competition.
The team posted a reveal teaser of the robot in action. The robot is named Harambe after a famous gorilla. The team takes Harambe as an inspiration for strength and agility.