At the 2018 Rock City Regional in Little Rock, Arkansas our team received quite the unusual award. Imagine this: You are sitting in the stands with your team, anxiously awaiting to hear your team’s name announced as an award winner. Most of the awards are gone, and they have made it to Judge’s Award. As the description is read, something unexpected happens. It is announced that this year, for this regional, the Judge’s Award would be know as the “Change in State Award” to eminent this team’s work not only in their community, but all throughout the state. The speaker continues reading, and subtle hints are dropped throughout: “Autism Spectrum Workforce Evolution” the biggest hint of them all. You can feel the excitement rising among your peers. Then you hear, “Team 5437 the Rocky Balboabots!” You are ecstatic and rise to your feet, floating on cloud nine as you descend the stairs and high-five students and judges, beaming the entire time.
We are honored to receive this award and we thank everyone who has helped us along the way; our generous sponsors, our community, and those who donated money to our cause.
Congratulations to our friends the rookie team MPV Stingerbots from Mulberry, Arkansas on winning the Rookie-All Star award at the Rock City Regional! They are attending the Houston World Championship this year in April. We are so proud of you, you have come such a long ways this past year! Good luck, we look forward to seeing you there!
Our first match of the day, went really well. Good luck to all the teams competing today!
We had some wonderful guests join us today ranging from our kids on the Mulberry team, to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, all the way to Mr. Jon Eubanks who sat and talked for a while. Great job to all the teams, and good luck tomorrow!
We are halfway through today’s matches for our team. We have seen a lot so far, including 3310 Black Hawk Robotics grabbing onto 2183 Tiger Bots, who had already climbed the scale! There are many talented teams here, so just what might the future hold?
After viewing this year’s teaser trailer, we all sat quizzically, awaiting the morning of kickoff, analyzing every small detail, attempting to decode what the game might be. Then the game was revealed, so we set to work. Over the course of those six weeks, we each individually put in close to 131 hours, some a little more. It wasn’t always easy, but through our teamwork, we managed to not only build a full-size field, a robot, and disassemble the rule book, but we also grew closer and learned more about the new members, becoming a patchwork family. Even while knowing it was six weeks, thinking back, it seems like it was only 2 minutes and 6 seconds. But as they say, time flies when you’re having fun, and we had quite a bit.
We are Team 5437, and this is us. We strive to change the world by impacting those not only in the communities around us, but also in communities miles away. We believe that through dedication, perseverance, and teamwork, anything can be accomplished. In our Chairman’s award, we tell of our humble beginnings as the underdog, and how we pushed through the hardships striking our town to assist in the attraction of the prosperous gazes of companies upon our promising area: All we needed was a chance to show it. These past three years have brought forth many new opportunities to the new generation of innovators living in our small town. Our collaboration with the businesses and companies around us, along with the government officials in our town and state, has provided us the chance to introduce the next generation of workforce members to careers they might not have known of. The shot we were given when we originally learned of FIRST opened doors we didn’t even know existed, let alone ones we could actually walk through, hand-in-hand with other low income, hardworking communities. We are honored to be affiliated with such a powerful and inspiring vision of the future.
On Tuesday, December 19, 2017 our team spoke with our state and community leaders about the influx of job opportunities brought about by the increased amount of quality workforce members established by our team’s coordination with FIRST.
Our team had the privilege to speak with our city’s mayor, Jerry Wilkins, to introduce the idea of a Mayor’s Youth Council. He toured our STEM Lab and Build facility. We introduced him to F.I.R.S.T. Inspires ideology and our teams Initiative. We took this opportunity to educate our Mayor with a presentation. With our presentation “Robotics as a Stimulus for Economic Growth” we are educating the importance of a Highly Qualified workforce combined with our deep moral values and how this is a very valuable asset for our region. After meeting with him he is thrilled to see the initiative of the young minds of his town and gave us a green light to draft a presentation to create a Mayor’s Youth Council. With the Mayor’s Youth Council the youth of our community will have the opportunity to learn how their local government operates. This council will prepare and educate our future leaders. Through our initiative we are paving the way for STEM and creating the next generation of leaders.