On Saturday, January 6, 2018, The Foley Freeze gathered at Bishop Foley Catholic to watch the official broadcast of FIRST Power UpSM, the 2018 robot competition game based on a retro version of a 8-bit video game. While mentors and upper-classmen watched from the media center, freshman Foley Freeze students attended the Regional Kickoff at Novi High School. Following the broadcast, those in Novi were able to see the field elements set up on a competition field and were presented with a Kit of Parts, which included games pieces, various motors, and sample materials. “It was an exciting experience,” said freshman, Sabrina Causley. “It was fun to get up close and personal with the field elements with my fellow teammates.”
As part of the kickoff weekend, held January 6 and 7, students participated in a variety of activities. On Saturday, following the broadcast, they broke out into subteams to read the games rules, brainstorm different possibilities for strategy, and explore possible designs before beginning CAD and fabrication. On Sunday, the team celebrated Mass together at Guardian Angel Catholic Church and then joined in a celebratory pancake breakfast with their families. The rest of the day was spent discussing different ways to address the challenges presented by the game. These brainstorming sessions allowed students from all subteams to contribute ideas to the design of the robot.
With kick-off weekend over, each subteam is diligently working to complete their tasks to design and build the robot during the official six-week Build Season. Once a drivetrain and the overall design have been determined, the students prototype potential mechanisms, design the robot in CAD, and fabricate parts. Each subteam strives to achieve their independent deadlines so the team can also meet their collective goals.