Team Sprocket attended its first off-season competition of the new school year, Battleship Blast, during the first weekend of September in San Pedro. At this exciting event, fourteen local teams gathered to compete, network, and show off their robots. Held in the same facility as LA Fleet Week, this competition was a fun way to get a taste for competition. Battleship Blast also provided engaging entertainment to attendees and curious children who were introduced to the world of science and technology.
Team Sprocket only attended the Sunday tournament, though a full competition was held on both Saturday and Sunday. Behind the USS Iowa battleship, Team Sprocket competed valiantly through the qualification matches but did not make it to the playoff rounds, finishing with a rank of 14 out of the 16 participating teams. Through this competition, steps were taken to promote Team Sprocket and FIRST’s mission in spreading STEM ideals to the community. Many Team Sprocket members served as competition volunteers, assisting with various tasks such as handing out pamphlets with information about the FIRST program to interested passersby.
As this was the very first competition for the new backup drive team, Battleship Blast provided valuable experiences for the next competition season. “Being on the drive team allowed me to experience all the work and stress [on the] drive team, ” said primary driver Natalene Gunawan. “I learned many tactics in driving, and how hard it is to drive in general.”
Kathleen Suwoko, another backup driver, exclaimed her surprise at the intensity of the matches: “There was some conflict that would have definitely been avoided, but the training and experience we gained benefited out team’s bond and our bond with the [robot] too.”