In its fourth season of existence, Gatorbotics faced another challenge this year as the team consisted almost wholly of sophomores and freshmen, all the senior members having graduated the year before. We therefore had to quickly learn to lead, organize, and run the organization despite our relative inexperience. The team rose to the occasion and produced Benji, a speedy robot that racked up points by racing around the field and even employed a few new technologies such as mecanum wheels.
We continued to work with our mentors at IDEO, Tesla, and Stanford. Additionally, the team honed its skills over the course of the season and through “Camp Gatorbotics,” a week-long intensive programming, engineering, and technology program we designed to continue to build our skills during the off season.
The 2008 challenge was entitled FIRST Overdrive, and required robots to race around a track while manipulating large trackballs (1 meter in diameter) over and under overpasses to earn points.
Having gained an extraordinary amount of technical and leadership expertise during the season, the team performed very well at the two regional competitions it attended, the Silicon Valley Regional and the Pacific Northwest Regional. The team also continued to reach out to younger students through its existing LEGO Robotics program at local elementary schools and by expanding the program to work with Castilleja’s own middle school FIRST Lego League team.
We participated as Alliance Captains at the Oregon Regional and were the only all-girls team to compete.
Silicon Valley Regional:
We were awarded the 2008 SVR Judges’ Award and the 2008 SVR Safety Award for our conduct.
We were profiled in a FIRST/NASA Documentary while at the Silicon Valley Regional. We were also interviewed by National Public Radio for a feature.