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How to improve upon perfection

Last weekend, Village Glen High School participated in the Regional championship for FIRST Robotics. Competition was tight. The 41 teams that participated were some of the best in Southern California, and some of them had already participated in other Regionals, as they are allowed to do, and won awards there. The level of engineering design and construction was high, rivalries new and old were intense, and for us the learning curve was exponential. Our team, given that it was their first time competing, suffered all sorts of setbacks. From a crucial bolt that wouldn’t loosen and had to be cut, to an aluminum block that fractured in two places and threatened to tear the bot in half, to agonizing reflections on decisions that the team made the first day of the build, and that we ‘paid for’ every subsequent day, the entire process was a trial by fire. But the team persevered, they overcame, they fought back, and they tried and continued to try even when they were outclassed, outmaneuvered, and outmanned.
So, why was this perfection? Team 5678, Knightrise, won the award for Rookie All Stars, earning the team a place at the world championship in St. Louis later this month. What the judges saw was a team that engaged others, and that overcame every setback with even temper and determination. What the students learned was enormous. They learned to ask for help—they worked with much more experienced and capable teams to resolve coding problems, mechanical problems and electronics problems. But they learned valuable social lessons as much as valuable mechanical and engineering ones. And in the process they made friends, they were part of something much larger than themselves, and that was a significant boost to their self-image. So, how does one improve upon perfection? One does it again. Only better!

Sweet Success!
Sweet Success!

2 thoughts on “How to improve upon perfection

  1. So inspired by the effort and unified determination of the Knightrise team. The sweet success of an award for Rookie All Starts was well deserved! Best wishes for St. Louis and beyond! Stacy M

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