For the fifth year in a row, the Ravena Rattlesnakes (FTC #14281) are headed up to Utica to compete at the New York Excelsior Regional MVCC Championship competition on Sunday, March 5th, 2023. The team advanced as winning alliance captain with the help of Team Beta (FTC #8397) and the Shark Bots (FTC #14903) at the Broadalbin-Perth Qualifier on January 29th. In addition, they also competed at the Albany Academies Qualifier on January 14th, coming in 4th place and making it to the finals after a harsh upset.
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is a competition where teams of kids grades 8 through 12 have to design, build and code a robot to complete various missions on a playing field. Sydney Campbell, a junior who joined the team this year said, “I like FTC because it’s all hands-on. I like to build and constantly solve problems with the robot.”
Since the last competition, the team decided to put in the work to make their robot even better. “We re-designed some parts of the robot to make it more efficient and are working to improve our code.” Co-Captain Nick Cifone wrote. “Every time we get together we learn something new. I’ve learned how to code basic Java and plan on spending some time this summer working on more complicated code.”
After a very successful last season, coming in fifth in the state, the team is looking for the same outcome this year. “With only two teams advancing to the world competition it's really unlikely that we will make it, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try.” Senior and team co-captain Elizabeth Robertson states, “We are really happy about how well the team has done this year. It’s been our best season to date.” As the competition day grows closer, the team is making some last-minute changes. “We want to make sure that we are the best we can be.” Co-Captain Max May said. “This might be the last time we get to compete, and we want to make the most of it.”
For a chance to come to see the team's robot in person, the Rattlesnakes are hosting a FIRST Robotics Expo on June 8th at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School. “It's our favorite event of the season, we look forward to it every year!” Junior Sonia Snyder says. “We want to get the community more involved with FIRST, and this is the best way to get everyone excited.”
Good luck, team! You got this!
Photos and write-up provided by Coach Jared Bevington.