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May 2011

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From:
Mark Vanderlyn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Vanderlyn <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 4 May 2011 00:54:57 -0400
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Hello VA/DC FLL
this is Ashburn Robotics NX-Treme.  After coming back from the 2011 
WorldFest in St. Louis we would like to thank everyone who supported us 
along the way, from the volunteers, who ran both the regional and state 
tournaments, to our sponsors and every team who took part in the body 
Forward challenge.  The Virginia/ D.C. state tournament is one of the largest 
FLL tournaments in the world and we were honored to be able to represent our 
state to the world.

One of the most amazing things about attending WordlFest was being able to 
meet all the other teams from different countries.  Of the 82 teams present 
more than half were from other countries.  To “break the ice”, every team 
was paired up with another team to complete a mission.  Our Alliance partners 
were the Bintulu Hawks, a team from Malaysia.  Together we were able to 
explore the FTC and FRC pits and get to know each other.  In fact this activity 
worked so well that we stayed in contact even after the tournament ended.  
Some of the other teams we talked with were Bacon, from Australia, NXT 
Generation, from Holland, Universal Serial Bus from Japan, Miracle 
Generation, from South Korea, and The Chilean Way, from Chile.  The spirit 
and gracious professionalism displayed in the tournament was amazing and 
made the experience much more fun.

The city of St. Louis itself was awesome.  Before the competition started we 
were able to explore the city a little and saw the gateway arch and the City 
Museum.  You can visit our website at ashburnrobotics.com and look under 
photos to see what they look like. The arch, designed by Eero Saaranen who 
also designed the Dulles airport, was incredible.  It is the largest freestanding 
arch in the world and the view from the top was incredible.  To get to the top 
you ride inside  small 5 person capsules. The people you sit with are randomly 
assigned based on the number of people already in a car so you get to meet 
new people.  In front of the arch was the Mississippi River which, due to 
flooding, had overflowed its banks and covered the road near it, this meant 
that you could wade in a couple of feet into the road.  The other really cool 
place we visited was the City Museum, an entire museum built with things 
found within St. Louis that no one wanted and dedicated almost entirely to 
climbing structures.  The museum featured man-made caves, giant jungle 
gyms, and all sorts of city statues.  If you ever find yourself in St Louis this is 
a must see destination. Our team could have spent the whole day exploring all 
the nooks and crannies and still not seen everything. 

The tournament itself went very well.  For the most part, everything went 
smoothly and we were able get two decent scores on our robot runs and had a 
lot of fun collecting buttons and swops from FLL, FTC & FRC teams.  While our 
robot was capable of scoring 400 points, predicable it only likes to do so on 
our home table. Stage fright I guess. During our two practice runs we 
managed to get 375 on each which put us solidly in fifth place, but 
unfortunately the next day in were not so lucky.  During our scored runs we 
were only able to get a high of 370, which placed us, 14th overall.  Not to bad 
considering these were all great teams. There were several teams, which 
scored perfect 400’s, and two, which scored back-to-back 400’s. The 
Hammerheads from FL just edged out an all girls team, the LOL Comets, from 
CA to take the robot performance award.  Our team was awarded the 1st 
place for robot mechanical design. We were very surprised and honored to be 
recognized as one of the top teams in the world.  All the teams we saw and 
meet were truly amazing.  As we went to the stage to receive the trophy it 
was so nice to see many familiar faces from Virginia FLL greeting and 
cheering for our team.  We wanted to say a special thank you to Nick, Steve, 
Marty, Bill, Susan, & Karen and the many others who traveled to St Louis as 
well as those who watched the live webcast and cheered us on.  

We are working on putting together a YouTube video in the next few weeks 
and hope to upload it soon. In the mean time feel free to visit our website at 
ashburnrobotics.com to learn more about the team, out project, our robot, 
programs and the World Festival. 

Good Luck to team in the Food Factor challenge!!!!

Ashburn Robotics NX-Treme team 3691
Lindsey, Michael, Alex, Kyle, Jacob, Katherine, Austin, Kaustubh, & Nathan

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