FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Diary of an Innovator: Team 6328 Season Wrap-Up

May 06, 2024 Written by Team 6328, Mechanical Advantage 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 6328 Mechanical Advantage for this season! You can read their first and second post on the FIRST® Robotics Competition blog.


Q: What did you learn this season?

A: This is best answered by some of our students:

  • Bella: “This season I learned how to be more confident in what I’m doing. Before, I would always check and check and check to make sure what I was doing was correct, but now I am able to be confident that I’m doing the right thing.”
  • Sam: “I learned more about the engineering process and what exactly being an engineer takes. Honestly, it's not as scary or complicated as I thought it would be. Sure, some things are really complex and require a firm understanding, but even understanding the basics was a milestone for me.”
  • Mia: “I learned many skills this season, one in particular being leading younger students. This year was the first year I fully mentored a FIRST LEGO League team by myself. I learned how to plan what to do for the following meetings, what resources to give the students to help them grow, and how we should practice for upcoming events.  Overall, I am incredibly proud of my FIRST LEGO League team and how far they came this season, as well as thankful to 6328 for providing this opportunity for me”



Q: What was your favorite part of the season? 


  • Bella: “My favorite part about going to the events this season was meeting so many new people. I was able to make friends with people that I never thought I could.”
  • Sam: “I loved the diversity I saw at each and every event; I saw students of all colors all hailing from different countries and backgrounds - people who I normally would never have met otherwise. It's unusual but pretty extraordinary to know I've met so many people from so many different places.”
  • Neel: “I’m excited about our team’s commitment to sharing resources through Open Alliance, from prototyping to the CAD of our robot to our autonomous paths.  I was fortunate enough to help present two seminars at FIRST Championship in Houston this year to share some of the resources our team has developed with the entire FIRST Robotics Competition community: 1) FIRST Robotics Competition Data Logging and Visualization - Why and How?; and 2) FIRST Robotics Competition Log Replay and Simulation - Taking the Next Step



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

A: A friendly, collaborative attitude is infectious. We have worked for years on developing an inclusive and supportive team culture (and there’s always more work to do), but events are so much more fun if you have friend teams to hang out with, seek out rookies to offer help, and go to other pits and just ask questions. At every event, our students are encouraged to talk to three people from other teams. The newer students often visit pits with an experienced student or mentor; the camaraderie helps overcome anxiety. This brings kids out of their shells, gets like-minded kids talking, and makes events a lot more fun and social for everyone. We also make a deliberate effort to plan an informal meal with one or two teams at every event we attend and give the students a chance to just chat about anything and everything.



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

A: Starting in FIRST Robotics Competition as a new team is very hard with a seemingly never ending list of tasks, so don’t be scared to reach out to experienced teams in your area, at your events, or online for help and guidance - most remember being in your position and are very thrilled to be asked for help and advice.

It’s also essential to keep your rookie team’s goals focused and realistic. Work within your resources (being honest with yourself about what resources you have available) and be mindful of how committed team members are. When it comes to robot design, prioritize simplicity and aim for consistency and reliability over the lofty, complicated goals you might see some of the experienced teams reaching for. Additionally, it’s always important to celebrate small victories and maintain motivation on the team so students and mentors are encouraged to keep having fun while competing.

Finally, keep watch for public resources posted by other experienced FIRST Robotics Competition teams on the technical, business, and organizational aspects of FIRST. Some great places to look online are the Open Alliance threads on Chief Delphi, where many teams post about their prototyping, CAD, code development, fundraising, awards submissions, and more as the season progresses. Open Alliance threads also provide a platform to ask questions to these teams who are always happy to help — that’s what the threads are for!

Back to Blog

Add new comment