Tuesday evening on February 22, 2018 at the Liberty Ridge Elementary School, the gymnasium was packed with amazing science experiments conducted and presented by the hopeful youth of Woodbury. 8-Bit Leopards and The MEME Team, having recently finished their competition season in late January, visited for a friendly bit of competition and to share their experiences with the curious students and parents of Liberty Ridge.

From 6:00 PM to 7:10, the two teams prepared their robots for the match, practicing in the game field. Some lucky elementary students got to drive the bots, collecting the glyphs from the center of the field and placing them in the cryptoboxes. Parents commented on how they would have loved to have something these bots when they were younger and were excited that in the very near future, their kids may soon be part of these very teams.

At 7:10, Kyle Mestery, lead mentor for 8-Bit Leopards introduced the teams, their bots, and talked a bit about FIRST Tech Challenge. Devan Lauren Vance from 8-Bit Leopards and Connor Walstrom from The MEME Team addressed the crowd, explaining what the objectives of the match were and what they were about to see the bots do. With a quick countdown, the bots went in to action.

In autonomous mode, the bots each obtained their primary objectives. The MEME Team entered the safe spot, while 8-Bit Leopards knocked off a valuable jewel.

In tele-op mode, recently damaged Twitchy, the MEME Team bot, managed to push three glyphs into the cryptobox with its unusable arm before coming to a halt in front of the balance tile – the REV Hub having lost connection. The 8-Bit Leopards bot successfully deposited a number of glyphs into the cryptobox and attempted to get back on to the balance tile.

It was great to see the excited and interested faces of the crowd, parents and students alike. With registration soon to open for the 2018-2019 season, please look to this space for updates and consider mentoring! With a great level of interest, we need an equally great level of support.