FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Diary of an Innovator: Team 1880 Season Wrap-Up

May 14, 2024 Written by Team 1880, Warriors of East Harlem and FIRST Robotics Competition Staff




During the 2023-2024 FIRST® season, we followed four FIRST® LEGO® League, four FIRST® Tech Challenge, and four FIRST® Robotics Competition Diary of an Innovator teams about their season experience and the culture of innovation their team has created.

This is the final blog post from Team 1880 Warriors of East Harlem for this season! You can read their first and second post on the FIRST® Robotics Competition blog.




Q: What innovation are you most proud of this season?

A: Hold onto your hats, folks, because this season, we went full-on mad scientist mode with our robot! Picture this: we originally had our note launcher made out of polycarbonate, during the season we started learning about Computer Aided Design thanks to a partnership with SolidWorks and we were able to literally cut out our idea and bring it to life made out of aluminum. We were able to strap on some limelights and some slick sensors that turned our bot, Jackie into a precision powerhouse when it came to launching the notes. Not saying she was consistent but we were proud of her work this year.


Q: Describe your team’s event experience this season:

A: Oh boy, where do we even begin? Our event experience was like stepping into a whirlwind of excitement, energy, and pure adrenaline. We attended two regional competitions but the one that really left us in awe was the FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas. From the electric buzz of the opening ceremony to the heart-pounding rush of the final matches, every moment was an adventure waiting to happen. If you have the opportunity to attend the Championship, please do so!


Q: What was your favorite part of the season?

A: Hands down, our favorite part of the events was getting to hang out with teams from all corners of the globe. We're talking about bonding sessions in the pits where we traded top-secret strategies (shh, don't tell!), dance-offs in the stands that would put a Broadway show to shame, and late-night pizza parties that fueled our spirits and our stomachs. We were able to meet teams from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Türkiye, Australia and even Palestine, these are experiences that will be close to our hearts forever. 


Q: What was the most challenging part of the season?

A: Alright, buckle up, because the most challenging part of the season was like navigating a maze blindfolded. Picture this: you've got seconds left before you have to be on the field, your robot's stuck in a sticky situation and your programmers can not see three motors, and the fate of the match hangs in the balance. But you know what? We thrived on the chaos. We turned those nail-biting moments into opportunities to showcase our grit, teamwork, and sheer determination. Every moment before a match feels like we are in the middle of a NASCAR pit stop.



Q: Reflecting on the season, what is the one lesson you’ll carry with you going forward?

A: As we kick back and reflect on the season, one lesson stands out like a neon sign at midnight: resilience, baby! We're talking about bouncing back from setbacks with style, turning failures into fuel, and never, ever giving up, no matter how tough the road ahead may seem. This season was full of lessons learned that we will take with us into our next season.


Q: What tips do you have for new teams preparing for their first season?

Alright, rookies, gather 'round because we're about to drop some gems on you. First off, embrace the chaos! Your debut season is a wild roller coaster ride packed with highs, lows, and everything in between. Embrace it all, savor every victory, no matter how small, and don't be afraid to laugh when things don't go as planned (kept us sane).



One crucial lesson we've learned is this: while it's easy to look up to the top teams with all the shiny blue banners, sometimes the real growth happens when you look sideways. Take a peek at the teams grinding it out in the trenches beside you. They're in the same boat, facing the same challenges. Together, you can lift each other up and grow stronger as a unit. It's not about who's ahead of you; it's about who's beside you, ready to lend a hand.

And here's a pro tip: never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned dance-off in the pits. Seriously, it's a game-changer! So crank up the tunes, bust out your best moves, and watch as the energy levels skyrocket. Who knows, you might just dance your way to victory!

So there you have it, rookies. Embrace the chaos, look to your fellow teams for support, and never underestimate the power of a dance-off.  Oh and also zip-tie and hot glue anything and everything. With these nuggets of wisdom in your back pocket, you're ready to take on the world.


Until next time, keep on innovating, keep on dreaming, and never, ever forget to reach for the stars!


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