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RoboEpic 5017 is headed to FTC SuperRegionals!

Well, our girls did it once again! They aced the interview, impressed the judges, and showed a tremendous amount of support for one another and the other teams. Even during the times of disappointment, when their robot did not perform as well as they had hoped due to connectivity issues (not mechanical, they were pleased at that!) they stayed positive, enthused, and energetic. 

Though only winning one match, they ended up walking away winners…twice! 

They were first honored to win the prestigious THINK award for the best Engineering Journal (link below). This labor of love (their baby) is the product of the entire team, but under the strict guidance and organization of Renee Ong and Emily Fiorentino. They really have made this their pride and joy. We will show it to you sometime. 

Their second, and quite surprising, win was the Second Place Inspire Award (link also below) for best all around team. Though their robot did not perform as well as they would have hoped yesterday, many of the judges remembered them from the Gator Bowl where their robot was in tip top shape (winning Inspire and First Place Winning Alliance), the team wowed the judges in all of the other areas, from the aforementioned journal to motivation, community connections, and design. 

The 2nd Inspire win earned them an invitation to the East Super Regional Tournament (3rd year in a row!) at the University of Scranton, March 18-20. i2r from Westport and the Greens Farms Academy team, the Draganoids, will be joining them.

Also, the team has decided to graciously give up their spot at the Vermont Tournament this coming weekend in order to allow another team on the waiting list a chance to compete.

We are so proud of the team for all of their hard work this season. Though we only have one week left of winter sports, we are working with the girls to try to allow them time for both spring sports and final robotics prep. The girls plan to do a bit of a redesign to improve their robot.

We wil post a spot on the robotics webpage this week; I will forward the link as soon as it is ready. 

Renee Ong won one of two honors at this event. She won Dean’s List Finalist.  This gives her the unique opportunity to attend the World Festival in March for FTC, meet Dean Kamen, and attend special ceremonies. Out of all of the submissions, she could be one of the 10 lucky winners that earn scholarships, a trip to FIRST headquarters, and more. Way to go Renee!


RoboEpic continues to impress!

unnamed.jpgThe team competed in the FTC CT state championships on Saturday at GFA. 24 teams from the tri-state area earned a spot at this event by performing well at a pervious CT qualifier (our own Gator Bowl or the Loomis Chafee Shakedown). The team wowed the judges in the interview, leaving them wanting more information from the girls about all of the engineering, design, and community outreach they are doing. The judges frequented their pit during the day to talk more about their robot, efforts, teamwork, and what makes RoboEpic so unique. On the game field, the robot (and human drivers) won 4 out of 5 matches, with two personal/team/robot high scores of 302! Ranking 5th at the end of match play, the top seeded team, the Kingswood Oxford Wyveryns, chose RoboEpic as their first alliance partner; that is a huge honor! Along with “Watt’s Up” from NJ, the three lost in the semi finals 2-1. But all in all it was a successful day. During awards ceremonies, the team won the THINK award, for best engineering notebook. They also won Second Place INSPIRE for all-around team. With this award comes an invitation to the next level, East SuperRegional Championship in Scranton, PA (March 19-21) where 72 of the best teams from Virginia to Maine will compete for the coveted 25 spots at the World Tournament in St. Louis in April. Good Luck, RoboEpic!

RoboEpic 5017 Wins “Judges Award” at CT FTC State Champs!

Last Saturday, March 8th, the Greenwich Academy Upper School Robotics team, RoboEpic 5017, competed in the 10th annual CT FTC State Championship Tournament. Earning this spot by hosting a CT State Qualifying Event and performing extremely well at the Loomis CT State Qualifier, the girls went on to win a Judges Award for their spirit, enthusiasm, and determination during the event. With their coaches volunteering to assist in running the event, the team was on their own for most of the day; making repairs, dealing with technical issues, and having fun while bonding as a team. It was a win-win for everyone! Although their robot finished the day ranked as 15th (our of 24), they all had a great time. Now the girls plan to completely rewire the robot and give it a tune-up before heading to York, PA, for the East SuperRegional Championship April 3-5, 2014.

FTC update Feb 2014

RoboEpic 5017 (FIRST Tech Challenge team number) consists of 11 Upper School girls who have a common passion for robotics. Each girl contributes her unique set of skills to the team. Between working on the mechanical design, construction of the robot, lengthy programming, game strategy, 3D design for custom parts/pieces, the team also records, in detail, each step they take and change they make in their pristine, yet highly decorative and customized engineering journal.

Though their journey began in September, the highlight of their work is being showcased now; FTC competition season. Each team has the ability to compete in up to three different states (or regions) during the qualifying competition season, which stretches from January to March.


The first event (Jan 18th) the team attended was the Connecticut State Regional Qualifying Event, which was held here at Greenwich Academy. Not only did the girls help set up, host, run, and take down the event, they competed in it as well. Being the first official event of the season for the team, it was their first real attempt at running the robot with other teams, and they were hard at work noting the strengths and weaknesses of their robot, noting future changes they wanted to make. Their robot made a decent showing, winning about half of their matches. But it was their team spirit, crazy pink costumes, teamwork, and dedicated to spreading the word of FIRST in the community that caught the attention of the judges. The team won the Motivate Award (description below) This has been a trend for Greenwich Academy Robotics, as our girls exhibit graciousness, poise, and enthusiasm during each event they attend; just a few of many skills they learn while at GA. Hosting this event is an honor for the team, and they were given a ticket of advancement to the Connecticut State Regional Championship Tournament.


But it was back to the lab for the team, as they worked extremely hard to make changes to the robot build and programming before the next event. They had one week to work through their long list of tasks. But they succeeded! At their next event, the New York State / Hudson Valley Regional Qualifying Event held at JFK Catholic High School in Somers, NY, the team further impressed the judges and their robot won 4/5 matches. They girls felt so proud that they were ranked in the top 10 of robot performance for the day, but even more proud to win the PTC Design Award (description below) for their clean and highly functional robot. Being a third year team, the girls felt they really understood how to create a robot that was effective in scoring points and pleasing to the eye.  Though they did not make it to the semi-final or final rounds that day, the team earned a ticket to the New York State / Hudson Valley Regional Championship Tournament.


Their third event, the Connecticut State Regional Qualifying Event held at Loomis Chaffee School on February 1, 2014, was a tremendous success for the team. Adding additional feature to the robot and program allowed the team to win 4/5 matches and ranked 3rd at the end of qualifying rounds. The team was able to choose 2 alliance teams for the semi-finals, but was knocked out by strong opponents in the elimination matches. Overall, the girls felt a tremendous sense of pride and success at this feat. They worked so hard to get to this point, and so it was a personal win for each of them. The team did win the PTC Design Award at this tournament as well, for their gorgeous and highly competitive robot.


After making even more changes to robot build and programming, strategy and design, RoboEpic went to the New York State / Hudson Valley Regional Championship Tournament, held at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY, on February 16, 2014. They competed against 33 other teams from all over New York State, and a few teams from Connecticut and New Jersey. Each team at this event were winners at one of six qualifying events in NY state, just as our team earned a spot in this tournament after attending a Hudson Valley Regional Qualifier at JFK High School in Somers, NY on Jan 25th. This event is a tier higher in the competition level compared to the qualifying events. Tougher competitors, more experienced teams, and higher scoring robots are all hurdles the girls had to overcome. After a really long day of: inspections, multiple interviews (official judging and casual in the pit and at the queuing tables), 5 rounds of robot matches (lost 3, won 2, but scoring very high in each round), LOTS of cheering, dancing, and scouting (and some snacks) — the girls placed 21st out of 34 teams. They also happened to score the second highest score of the day (313 points) on one of their matches – a statistic that was not overlooked by the judges. During the Elimination and final rounds, the girls watched and cheered for the other two CT (both Westport) teams that made it to the finals (RoboEpic was not part of these rounds this time). They had so much fun anyway, though! During the awards ceremony, the girls were thrilled to win TWO awards! The first award was the “Promote Award”, which is a Public Service Announcement-style video submission (1 minute) geared toward the theme provided by FIRST. This year’s theme was “Leadership is…”. Charlotte Warne filmed/edited an amazing video that the judges all loved. (description below) The team also won second place for the “Inspire Award.” The Inspire award is the Champions Award, and it is given to the best all-around team. Robot is part of it, but there are so many more aspects to a great FTC team (details below). To even be considered for this award is a huge honor, and it is given to those teams who demonstrate a love for STEM, FIRST, and the community. Although there is no physical trophy for “second place overall team” RoboEpic earned a ticket to advance to the next level!!  There is a new structure to FTC this year; before teams can advance to the World Festival in St. Louis at the end of April, teams need to advance to the new Super-Regional Championship Tournament. There are only FOUR of these around the country; one each in the West, North, South, and East. So, on April 3-5th, RoboEpic will travel to York, PA and compete against 71 other teams from Virginia to Maine in the East Super-Regional Championship Tournament to try to earn a ticket of advancement to the World Festival.




FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge- their division:

“East Super-Regional Tournament”




This formally judged award is given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC programThe team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a ‘role-model‘ FTC Team. This team is a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field. The Inspire Award Winner is an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious Professionalism™ both on and off the playing field. This team is able to communicate their experiences, enthusiasm and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, and the Judges. Working as a unit, this team will have demonstrated success in accomplishing the task of creating a working and competitive robot.

Guidelines for the Inspire Award:

  • Team must demonstrate respect and Gracious Professionalism both for team members and fellow teams
  • Team is a strong contender for all Judged awards. The Inspire Award is based on the guidelines for all of the Judged Awards
  • Engineering Notebook must be submitted, and must include an Engineering Section, a Team Section and a Business or Strategic Plan. The entire Engineering Notebook must impress the judges
  • Team demonstrates and documents their work in their community spreading awareness of the team, FIRST, and FTC within the community
  • Team displays good communication and teamwork skills within the team as well as with their alliance partners
  • Team communicates clearly about their robot design and strategy to the judges
  • Team presents themselves well in the judges’ interview
  • Robot and team effectively competes in the game challenge and impresses the judges
  • Team and robot consistently perform well during matches






The Promote Award is given to the team that is most successful in creating a compelling video message for the public designed to change our culture and celebrate science, technology, engineering and math.

Guidelines for the Promote Award:

  • Team must present a thoughtful and high-quality video which appeals to the general public.
  • Strong production value is important, but the message and impact of the video are of greater weight for the judges.
  • Creativity in interpreting the annually assigned theme is desired.
  • Submissions for this award will be considered for the Inspire Award but are not required.
  • Team must have rights to any music used in the video.

PSA Subject for 2013-2014 Season

  • Create a one-minute PSA video that begins with the following sentence: “Leadership is…”




This judged award celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FTC competition through team building, team spirit and enthusiasm. They celebrate their team, their individuality and their spirit through costumes and fun outfits, a team cheer and their outstanding spirit. This team has also made a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school and community.

Guidelines for the Motivate Award:

  • Team demonstrates respect and Gracious Professionalism to all
  • Team functions as a cohesive unit to discover the goals of the program
  • Team can articulate the journey of becoming a team of individuals with different roles
  • Team has formed and can articulate internal processes to assign roles and communicate between team members
  • Team attitude of celebration and spirit is consistent throughout the team and the competition
  • Team is enthusiastic
  • Team functions well as a unit
  • Team enthusiasm is evident in community outreach