Silicon Valley Regional (SVR)

Credit to Alvin

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 1, Notre Dame High School’s robotics team, The Janksters, began to set up for the Silicon Valley Regional hosted by FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) at the San Jose State University’s Event Center. Here, the Janksters competed with 58 other high schools in stacking totes until Saturday, April 4th. For the first few days of Easter Vacation, The Janksters woke up bright and early to reach to the event and work on their robot, Grace.

On Thursday, the first day of competition, they were extraordinarily productive and able to add a new mechanism, update the programming, and so much more. The day was filled with practice rounds that aided our drive team in improving on their mistakes and preparing for matches the next day. Though only half the team was able to come in the morning, the short distance between ND and San Jose University allowed them to help out right after school.

Friday became extremely busy with qualification matches, though the Janksters remained productive both inside and outside the arena. They were able to pass out tape measures and safety maps to navigate around the many pits to other teams, while the rest of the team helped analyze other robots in “scouting” or worked on the robot . Additionally, two of our team members (Tamara Kawa ‘16 and Tiffany Ta ‘17) presented a powerpoint and video for our first attempt at the Chairman’s Award—an award given to one team at every competition to congratulate and reward them for their impact on their own communities outside of their own robot. Though the team did not end up receiving the award, we congratulate them on their tremendous effort.

By the end of the day, The Janksters had all of their major fixes to the robot completed,and were ready for our Team Social in the ND campus that night. For the social, Space Cookies Robotics (Girl Scouts), “Rockin” Bots (Carmel High School), Presentation Invasion (Presentation High School), Carrillo Cybernetics (Maria Carrillo High School), and finally a team from China, Mars Style, were all invited to dance, play frisbee, and enjoy a wonderful meal with The Janksters. It was fun to be able to relax during the intensity of competition.
After finishing qualification matches, Saturday was the day for alliance selections and announcing the winner. While The Janksters did not move on to the final, they are proud of their progress and remain excited for future events. It was a wonderful competition, in which the team was able to overcome many obstacles as well as accomplishments within the span of only a few days, making it a fun finale to a great build and competition season.

Friday was a really exciting day for everyone. The real matches were actually starting and we had a working robot. Grace moved in all of our matches and we even got to stack four totes. This was an improvement and got the team pumped up for more matches. Friday wasn’t just fun seeing our robot improve but it was also cool to see the other robots. We saw most of the robots before at the Central Valley Regional, but almost all of the robots had gotten better and it was nice to see different robots as well. It was great that the event was in the area as well because other people from outside of robotics came to see our work. Even our principal and vice-principal came to see Grace in the competition. It was a great experience and I know the whole team felt proud of what Grace did and what we did.

– Gabby Davila

Class of 2018