[A message from Senior Mentor John Ballou]
Dear George Mason Community,
Our robotics team just returned home from the FIRST Robotics Championship in Detroit, Michigan. Our team was one of 25 teams who qualified from our district to go to this culminating event. We were assigned to the Darwin Division, one of six divisions that totaled 405 teams at the Cobo Center on the Detroit riverfront. Our division had 67 teams from the northern and eastern states, Canada and one team from Taipei.
We played ten qualifying matches with and against a wide range of very successful competitors. Our team moved up and down in the rankings over two days of matches. We had our share of technical problems, including the need to replace four of the six wheels our design employs. We ultimately ended our season with 4 wins and six losses, but with five successful double climbs out of ten matches. Our stats just weren't quite good enough to make it the playoffs.
The team performed beautifully and professionally the whole week of this trip. I could not be prouder of this group. They worked hard in the pits and on the field and used their spare time to explore the championship environment and seek for ways to become an even better team for next year. They came away with a deeper appreciation of how other teams organize, problem solve and build their designs. The discussion in my van as we drove home Saturday afternoon was all about how the team can be even more successful in the future. All the logistics of the trip went off without a hitch, and the team comes home tired, but having represented our region and our school commendably.
The truly outstanding experience our team acquired was the FIRST Deans List Award earned by Erik Boesen. Only five students out of one hundred and fifty finalists at our championship receive this recognition (.02 percent of all the more than 130,000 participating students).The Dean's List Award is an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of the most outstanding FRC students.
Erik is the first member of the Chesapeake District to win this prestigious award at the national level. He has earned an award that is universally respected and valued. He also gets to visit Dean Kamen's house/museum in New Hampshire this summer.
Here is a somewhat overexposed Youtube video of this announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq0RUwaaiXc
We end our year eager to improve. This young group has the talent and skills to do extremely well in the future. Thank you for all of the support and assistance you have given us this season and expect us to continue to showcase the work of some of the best and the brightest from George Mason High School.
John D. Ballou
Senior Mentor, FRC Team 1418
George Mason High School