In January, the team traveled to Casper to compete in the Wyoming state-qualifying tournament. “It was a really fun experience and we got to meet a bunch of other teams from surrounding schools,” reflected Amanda Chaney. At the Wyoming competition, the Lyons team placed third in the overall competition, losing only in the semi-final round to the victor team alliance. But at the award ceremony, the Lyons team was presented with the most prestigious award in the US FIRST organization, the “Inspire Award,” which entitled the team to an automatic invitation to the World Competition. The “Inspire Award” is given to the team that best embodies the ideals of the FTC program. The team that wins this award is not only recognized as a strong competitor, but also demonstrates gracious professionalism on and off the field, displays good communication and teamwork skills, and spreads awareness of the team within the community.
The Lyons team has included middle school students in different aspects of their practice, including building a full-scale practice field. They regularly practice in a middle school classroom, allowing the younger students to see the work in progress and observe the building process. “We’re also planning on going to the elementary school to do further outreach programs,” explained Ian Baer. “It’s really important to get other students in the community interested in our work so they can continue the robotics team.” This team has its hands full, but everyone is very excited and proud to be a rookie team going to the World Competition.
As of now, the Lyons team is the only team representing Colorado at the World Competition. The competition will be held April 27 through 30 in St. Louis.