Editor’s Note: This is one of many personal narrative’s about this competition season from members of Umatilla High School’s Robotics team.

By Elizabeth Loera

It was a cloudy Friday morning in April when our robotics team set out to a weekend full of hard work and dedication. The yellow bluebird bus that was expected to pick us up at six in the morning arrived 20 minutes late, which meant we were all freezing in the bitter cold.

Once, Clinton, our bus driver pulled up in front of UHS we all got aboard and started screaming in excitement. About a quarter of the team fell asleep, and the rest partied on the way to Spokane, Washington for our first robotics competition of the season. In Spokane, my robotics team would participate in a district competition to see where every robot and team placed on the charts.

Of course, I was one that partied on the bus ride there since my name is Elizabeth Loera and I carry the rad playlist everyone would dance to. The bus trip overall took about 3 hours and we had arrived around 10 a.m. which meant we were late to the PNW districts competition West Valley High was hosting.

Originally it had started at 8, but the great thing was that the field hadn’t been setup yet, and we had two hours to find a good view from the stands to scout. (The field is the competition area about the size of half a basketball court.)

Scouting consists of 6 willingly dedicated members to examine and jot down what each team’s robots capabilities are throughout qualifying matches, and I was one of the scouts. Just like other jobs, scouting had shifts everyone would partake in and I was part of the pink shift. Each scouter had to scout exactly ten matches before they could hand the clipboard to another scouter for the next shift. All this data from all these different robots would later on help us choose an alliance for the quarter finals.

West Valley Competition 2

My duty and position on the team is to be a photographer/cinematographer and so I simply snapped anything worth the lens. The division I’m a part of had the incredible idea of creating a video about how competition life is and so we’d interview other people from different teams about their overall opinion of robotics competitions.

Confidential, the robotics team I’m a part of always tries to influence other teams in a positive manner, and so we try our best to lift everyone’s decaying spirits by chanting and dancing.  Whenever, a song played we all jumped from out of the bleachers without any mentors telling us and just boogied for hours. I loved just being able to dance with my fellow team members and other teams I’d never met before, it was an incredible experience and I loved sharing and teaching my knowledge with others. Teamwork makes the dream work.

West Valley Competition

At the beginning of the competition our robot was in 30th place due to technical difficulties, and we eventually we hopped to 9th. , when they announced that Team 1595 had won the most prestigious award called the Chairman’s Award, we were surprised, but knew we had to try our best once again. Every single member now has to be determined throughout the competition, and give it their all. We are Confidential, and we will overcome at our upcoming districts competition held in Ellensburg.  

Once, we had hopped from 30th to 9th we fell back down to 13 for the alliance selections, and eventually became a part of alliance #7. We played amazingly for the quarter finals of the competition, and beat the alliance that would win the entire team. Our alliance, was the only team  to actually beat them during quarter finals.