Introducing Team Sentinels #19769!
Team 19769 – Sentinels is a FIRST Tech Challenge team from Kitimat, BC. We have 8 student on the team: Charles, Grant, Markus, Nicholas, Rayne, Sam, Tristan, and Victor. We have three students in grade seven, one in grade eight, two in grade 10, & two in grade 12. We also have two mentors, our Lead Teacher Mentor, Mr. Dahler, as well as FIRST alum & Lead Mentor, Krysta Peralto. All of us students are from Mount Elizabeth Middle and Secondary School in Kitimat, up here in Northern BC.
How did the 2021-2022 Freight Frenzy season go?
With this being our rookie year, we have had much to learn and experience, and have enjoyed every second of it. We are nearing the end of this season with new knowledge and many skills, as well as an amazing robot.
What were the challenges the team faced and how did they overcome them?
Our initial drivetrain caused us to get stuck on the barrier, so we had to revise it after our ﬁrst scrimmage on Nov 27th.After much brainstorming, we decided on modifying it to become a six-wheel drivetrain. We swapped out plastic chain
for steel to drive all six wheels instead of only the back four. This was what we drove in our last scrimmage on Feb 5th. However, there were also issues with this drivetrain’s robustness due to the spacers used in one channel. This caused us to add additional bracing and adjust the spacing in the drive channel, leading us to our current design.
How did mentors and coaches help them?
The mentors on the Sentinels provide valuable support and guidance to the team. Always ready to answer questions and give advice, they are integral to our success. Whether it be organizing our area’s scrimmages or helping us create custom parts, they are always striving to ﬁnd ways for us to keep learning and increase our chances of success. They ensure we have all the funding, equipment, tools, training, & space that we need to operate to our full potential.
What were some ways they reached out to the community?
We actively showcase robotics in our school & community, through our school newsletter & local newspaper. We introduce students not only to FIRST, but to other robotics programs in the area too. We have an Instagram page (@sentinels19769) through which we showcase our team’s endeavors, and we worked with our school’s tech club to live stream our last scrimmage so that everyone could see both of the teams in the area at work. Conversations about the team have made it to the dinner table, getting our siblings & parents involved in STEM & our team. Some of our siblings have started to try LEGO robotics, some of our parents have volunteered at events, & others have actively supported our fundraising efforts to travel to the provincial championship. We’ve even gotten the opportunity to do hot chocolate sales at our local No Frills while showcasing our robot, Jonathan the Dragon, next weekend (Feb 19th).
What was a highlight for them this season?
Though we had many great moments as a team and with the robot, one that sticks with us all the most was during our ﬁrst scrimmage. We had been having some trouble with our intake, and while ﬂipping back our inverting 4-bar linkage, our robot launched a piece of freight right out of the arena.
This elegant & exciting (yet not strategically beneﬁcial) demonstration of our robot’s mechanical prowess is no longer possible, as we have programmed failsafes to prevent this from happening.
What recommendations do they have for new teams?
Don’t be afraid to try. FIRST Robotics is an amazing program that will reward you even if you don’t win. Persevere and don’t give up, as the lessons you learn and what you create can be greater than you could possibly imagine.