Pro-Teins World Festival Experience

Team #3993 the Pro-Teins just returned from St. Louis, it was a great experience!!
The team did well with their project, research, and technical interviews. I really thought the team might get recognized in the research category, as the judges really thought they did a good job and provided thorough research.
The team did struggle a little bit with the robot, just not fast enough to get to the rats before the other teams. So our scores were about equal to our state scores minus the rats (152). I think about 50th place. Teams that were able to get the rats placed from about 20 to 50. Then the elite robots teams were in the top 20. The top scores were out of this world, I think the team from China hit 323. Amazing!!! The international robots are just so advanced compared to most within the states. There were 4 teams from the California Legoland Open last year in San Diego that were at the World Festival this year.
The kids did have an amazing time and everyone is wiped out!!! We feel we will bring back some good experience to share with teams in Colorado. People loved the salad server and our team buttons. Got many compliments on our booth, our ability to explain our team, project, and communicate with those in attendance. Many FRC, FTC, coaches, and adult mentors had a lot of positive feedback about the kids and their project solution. In the end they were not able to bring home an award for Colorado but just to in competition with the top 1% of teams from around the world was very awarding and educating.
Overall, most or a high percentage of the awards went to international teams. Not sure what the main factor is in that but, based on my experience in San Diego last year and St. Louis this year I can see some of the main factors in the top level teams compared to where we are in Colorado. I am not sure why the international teams do so well, except that they have a max age of 16. So the kids would be more mature, detailed, and committed to the program. Beyond that it becomes organization. As noted in San Diego, many teams are not school related teams. They are private teams or clubs that are dedicated solely to robotics and FIRST. Thus they seem to have more time and funds designated to building their program. With the established program they breed new teams and members from their base of knowledge and experience. Thus, once they build their experience and knowledge base it stays within the club and continues to grow. I think our robot and scores would be competitive in San Diego again like last year, but on the international scale not at that level. From what I can see we don't have any teams, programs, or clubs that would be at that level. That goes for most of the states from what I can see.
My belief is that US kids are busy and involved in many different areas, whereas the international kids or teams might be more developed to focus on single activities. This is just a guess? In conversations with international team coaches you can see that they are really after the competitive aspect, but they are also paying a lot of money to travel this far and in many cases supported by their country and universities.
Consequently, I am not sure if this is to be considered good or bad. I think in the spirit of FIRST and Core Values we are as good as any state or country. Our research ideas and solutions are similar to anything local or national or international. But when you have the top 1% globally at a World Festival, those top 20 robotics teams are absolutely amazing!!! They are the elite in that area.
I think we are doing well in Colorado, just a matter of building knowledge and mentoring to keep it growing and spreading. Thus elevating overall robotic design and programming. I am continuing conversations with coaches that are involved with teams at the Orlando and California Open events as well as past World Festival Champions. They are providing great information about their programs and suggestions on what we can do to improve our programs. I hope to have more information to share with teams and coaches over the summer or at our team booster event.
The Pro-Teins will be operating a team booster event during the “Senior Solutions” season. This event is similar to the current rookie booster but will include both rookie and experienced teams. The event will be an opportunity for the Pro-Teins to share their experience the last two seasons at national and world competitions. It was the experience at the Legoland Open during the Body Forward season that propelled the team to the World Festival this year. Please check back for additional details on this event and how to sign up. There will be limited spaces available for this event so sign up early.
The Pro-Teins would like to thank COFIRST, Ross Parrent, and the entire FLL supporting staff for your help and assistance during our preparations for the World Festival. The World Festival is an event that I would recommend teams and coaches consider attending even as visitors and encourage high school students to attend and meet the college representatives on “Scholarship Row” if you are interested in pursuing a degree in engineering. It is an event and memory that will stay with you forever. As my new World Festival T-Shirt says “FLL The Hardest Fun Ever”.
See Pictures from the World Festival at…
Scott McBride
Coach #3993 Pro-Teins