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WATTNESS to Attend NASA Exhibition

Official competitions are over, but the WATTNESS Robotics Team is still on the go. While competing at the National FIRST Robotics Competition in Orlando, FL, the team received an invitation to attend an Exhibition/Open House at NASA's Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

A travel team of 16-20 underclassmen and advisors will travel to Maryland for the Exhibition on Sunday, April 16. The team will meet up with their Sister Team from Tunkhannock, Team #222 Tigertrons in Tunkhannock and travel together to the Space Center. The Exhibition will feature 5 to 6 East Coast teams in mock matches from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

"We're thrilled that we're invited to NASA to demonstrate our robot," said Steve Suho, team advisor. ""This also gives our underclassmen a chance to work with the robot in a friendly, non-competitive environment to prepare for next year's competitions."

While at the Exhibition, team members will have the opportunity to tour the Space Center and visit with NASA engineers.

WATTNESS will also compete at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Challenge hosted by Tunkhannock's Team #222 on Saturday, May 13. The competition will feature 15-20 teams from the East Coast including another area team, Team #84 The Crew from the Scranton area, another GPU-sponsored team, Team #103 Cybersonics from Kintnersville, PA, and the National Competition Second Place Finishers, Team #102 Dexterous Gearheads from Somerville, NJ. Local supporters are encouraged to attend.

WATTNESS will also provide robot demonstrations at the upcoming Central Bradford County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on May 9, the IMC Monthly Dinner on May 10, the Maple Sugar Festival in Troy on April 29 & 30, and the Bradford County Dairy Festival on May 20 in Towanda. Students interested in participating in the program are encouraged to attend and visit with WATTNESS Team Members.

For more information on any of the above demonstrations, contact Jennifer L. Beard at 570-268-2787.


Northeastern PA Tops FIRST Competition

ORLANDO, FL - Early on Friday morning, the WATTNESS team arrived at Epcot Center ready to compete in their scheduled five rounds for the day. The first round showed the teamís great abilities as they were paired with their sister team, #222 Tigertrons, from Tunkhannock. The final match score was 25 to 15, giving WATTNESS 45 qualifying points. The second match was a disappointing one for the WATTNESS team as the allies experienced a drive train failure, rendering them unable to navigate. The final score for that round was 22 to 16, giving our opponents 48 qualifying points, and WATTNESS only 16. The third round was incredibly victorious for WATTNESS, scoring 23 to 12, giving the team 36 qualifying points, and a boost of confidence. The teamís next match tied at 5, but WATTNESS lost again as they did in their Regional competition in New Jersey because of a tiebreaker elimination rule. This left only 5 qualifying points for the team, and 15 for their opponents. This slowly started to diminish the teamís enthusiasm, but their determination wasnít swayed. In the teamís final match, their allies again had a drive train failure, leaving WATTNESS to compete against two of the opposing robots. The final score was 22 to 19, giving WATTNESS 19 qualifying points, and their opponents 57. WATTNESS was ranked 159 at the end of the day. Tomorrow holds two more qualifying rounds, and final rounds. Team driver Owen Brown says, "we performed flawlessly! We just canít catch a break sometimes, but we arenít done yet, and we wonít be because we are really good at what we do!"

The LITTLES, formed in 1996, were the first team in Northeastern Pennsylvania to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Students from Troy traveled to Scranton to assemble a robot in the Lackawanna County Area Vocational Technical School. After that year, local students formed their own team in Bradford County, which consisted of area students from Sayre, Waverly, Athens, Troy, and Towanda (SWATT). Also that year, the LITTLES changed their name to The Crew. The following year, Tunkhannock broke from The Crew, and formed their own team and called themselves the Tigertrons. Three teams spawned from the former LITTLES, and have evolved into mature teams. This year, they have been reunited in Florida, and already have been victorious. In the first round of the qualifying matches, WATTNESS and the Tigertrons were allies, and finished triumphantly. Rumors circulating around the pits speculate a Northern Pennsylvania allied team for the final rounds. If this occurs, itís highly probable that the Northern Tier will bring home the gold in this nationally recognized competition. The Crewís motto is "one became three" and WATTNESS certainly hopes that is the case for the final match.

The WATTNESS team will travel to Tunkhannock to compete in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Challenge hosted by the Tigertrons on May 13. This is the perfect opportunity for the local community to come see the area heroes in action along with 19 other teams from the East Coast. The public is welcome and invited to come cheer the WATTNESS team onto another possible victory.

On May 9, Team 84 will be attending the Central Bradford County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner to put on a presentation of this yearís robot. On May 10, the team will be the guest speakers at the IMC dinner, Beemanís Restaurant in the Valley. All interested students and sponsors should attend these important dinners.


WATTNESS competing in Orlando ends

Orlando, FL - The WATTNESS team awoke early Saturday morning, while the sun was still hardly visible to travel to the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida to compete in their last two matches in the qualifying rounds. When team 84 arrived, the hustle and busy atmosphere was not there, because very few teams had been there that early. The WATTNESS team got busy making pennants and buttons to increase the team spirit. Then, the opening ceremonies were held, with beautiful acapella National Anthems, and doves being released. Shortly after, WATTNESS was scheduled for competition, and excited with the possible alliance of the three Northern Tier teams. Team 84 dominated their first match, playing defensively and scoring points. The alliance partner of the team fell over while trying to get on the ramp, but WATTNESS used their talent to keep them victorious, by pushing them back on . The final score was 19 to 17, adding 51 qualifying points to their rank. The last, and second round of the day held was disappointing for the WATTNESS team because their alliance partner did not function, leaving team 84 to try to compete against two opposing robots. However, WATTNESS showed incredible force, pushing the opposing robot completely off the ramp, keeping it off, and getting itself on the ramp. In that final match, the score was 26 to 10, only giving team 84 their 10 qualifying points. WATTNESS scored a respectable amount of qualifying points considering in five out of their seven matches their alliance partner broke down, and had to defend themselves.

As WATTNESS waited in anticipation to hear if they would be picked for finals, their number was not called. Team 84 showed tremendous effort all season long, but at the National Competition, it was simply not to be. But team 84 didnít come home empty handed, the team received a "awesome alliance" award from team 66.

Other local teams from Tunkhannock and Scranton gave it their all, but they were also not picked for the final round. However, on May 13, there will be a competition at Tunkhannock, and there WATTNESS can claim a rightfully deserved title. Any students who are interested in joining the team next year are invited to come. One team member who joined mid-season, Jeff Suho from Athens, says that "the competition was exhilarating, and Iím glad I could contribute to the team even though I wished I could have done more, and Iím looking forward to helping out next year. It incorporates a lot of different skills, some of which you might not have learned in school. Itís a worthwhile extra curricular activity."

The sun beat down on the heads and faces of WATTNESS, and the thousands of other students watching the final matches cheering for the last big finale of the 2000 season. Even though the team did not make it into the honorable final rounds, the team achieved the biggest goal; making it to competition. Steve Suho, a team advisor says, "I was extremely please with the students attitude. They maintained a positive attitude even though the odds were against us in most of our matches, and Iím proud to be a member of team 84."

Article written by Jess Ames, student team member, and Jen Beard, team advisor.


Match #447- approx time 10:40

#136 and Chuck=blue alliance, #181 and #123=red alliance

when the match started, Chuck loaded up on balls, dumped all but black one, lost that one. Pushed #181 completely off the ramp, and we got on it. our alliance "busted" (well put by Ron) and was unable to contribute alot to the match. We lost 26 to 10. It was a disappointing loss, but Chuck and the drivers kicked major bot, and not to mention the alliance was "busted".

the team then went and cheered again for the Crew and their alliance #148. the Crew first went across the field and got the black ball and loaded it. While trying to get on the ramp, they tipped over and lost their match also 18 to 30.

the team stayed to cheer on Tunkhannock and alliance #182. They raced over and got 2 black balls, and 2 yellow, and dumped their balls with their alliance partner 182 giving them 15 points. 182 got on ramp, but Tunk could not make it on also.Opponets had 11 ball points, one robot hanging, and one on the ramp. final score was 20 to 27, Tuhn lost.

Alliance parterns will be choosing and such at 10:45, its currently 10 minutes until that, and Tunkhannock is ranked 25th, but its possible that they could get higher or lower, because one more match is still in progress.

The picking has ended, Chuck didnt make it. Tunhkannock and the crew didnt either. talk to you all later on.


Match #338 (Nationals)

our alliance was #293 we=red alliance #98 and #138=blue alliance

At the beginning, we loaded up on balls, and dumped. Chuck remained strictly defensive, protecting the ramp. our alliance fell over while trying to get on the ramp, while the opponets tried to push it farther off, but chuck demonstrated his awesome abilities and made sure our alliance was going nowhere. WE WON THE MATCH!!!! 19 to 17!! that put 57 qp to our rank chuck dominated that match, and it rocked!!!

After that round, we RACED to go cheer on The Crew, #284, and their alliance #182. The crew first went and got a black ball, while their alliance loaded up 4 balls and dumped. they're partner was hanging off the bar while they tried to dump, but was unsuccessful. Right now, i cant remember if they won or not, but i THINK they did.

After that, we again raced to cheer for Tunkhannock....only catched a couple secs of that match though. Tun. lost 27 to 37. its exciting, because its buzzing with the thought of teaming up with our two sister teams.


Match #334- time approx 4:30

Teams #68 and #155=blue alliance. Teams #465 and Chuck=red alliance

this was our last match of the day. first, at the beginning, chuck raised the bakset and recieved 6 balls, went to the ramp, and unloaded. meanwhile, our alliance also placed a black ball in the hopper. the blue alliance was also loading and unloading balls.

for the next minute of the match, we got on the ramp with MUCH force (we basically shoved the blue alliance off again and again), and kept the blue alliance off. chuck and the drivers really rocked...keeping 2 robots off the ramp for half the match. it was really amazing. however, our alliance partner couldnt make it to the ramp. by the end, the final score was 22 to 19. we lost. Tomorrow we have 2 qualifying matches in the morning...we'll letcha know asap then.


Match #249 - actual time approx 3:00.

Teams #167 The Notorious WRC and #322 Adventure Cats=red alliance. #236 Techno Ticks and Chuck=blue alliance

At the beginning of the match, chuck raced over to the opposite end of the field because our alliance didnt have a good ball gathering mechanism, so we used to flipper to collect one black ball. this took a bit of time, but we finally got it. in the meantime, our alliance loaded a basket full of balls, but were unable to dump any of them. while our alliance was doing that, a member of the other team was up on the ramp. after we dumped the black ball, there wasnt enough time for Chuck to get on too. our alliance tried to get on, but was off by only a little near tape. the match was tied at 5 points. we lost however due to the tie-breaker rule, which says that they won because they had a bot on the ramp, when we did not. there's an offical rule saying the alliance with the most bots hanging wins, if that does not apply, the alliance with the most bots on the ramp wins, then it goes the alliance with the most black balls in the hopper (that should be accurate.) but, the lowest score is dropped, that being this match for chuck. Our next match is approx at 4:00. talk to you then. By the way gerald, told the team (excluding drivers, they were on deck) what your mail said, you got a round of applause. i'm on my way to the pits, and i'll let the floor know you're thinking of them.


Match #182 - Actual Time 1:30

Teams #66 Those Meddling Kids and Chuck=blue alliance Teams #379 Robo Cats and #401 Power Surge=red alliance

At the beginning of the match Chuck loaded up on balls, and preceeded to take them to the trough, and our alliance team did the same. After WATTNESS and the alliance both filled the hopper, Chuck became strictly defensive. We kept the red alliance team's off the ramp, and kept them from hanging on the bar. We controlled the ramp while our partner hung on the bar. The red alliance then tried to get on the ramp also, but fell over while trying. The final match score was 23 to 12, giving us 36 additional qp. total qp's equal 97 after 3 matches. After that match, we were ranked 98th.


Match #117 - Actual Time 11:10 (Nationals)

Teams # 37 Cordzilla & #41 Robo-Warriors = Red Alliance. Chuck & #151 Lockheed & Nashua High School = Blue Alliance.

We were matched with #151. Robo-Warriors came out and immediately hung on the bar. For those who attended Regionals, you may remember them and the fact that once on the bar, they can slide from one side of the bar to the other. Our strategy was to load the trough with the balls while #151 got on the bar. Unfortunately, Robo-Warriors beat them to it and they couldn't get on. Chuck proceeded to load balls for a total of 16 points. After a struggle we were able to get on the ramp but received a good knock from Cordzilla at the end and one of the lexan pieces fell off, half on the ramp and half on the floor. Final match score Red Alliance - 22; Blue Alliance - 16. They received 48 Qualifying Points (QPs) and we received 16.

It was frustrating but we learned the lesson that we can score and do well with a weak partner. In support of #151, today was the first time they've run their robot since they got here. They were struggling to get it working yesterday and were unable to participate in the practice rounds or didn't have any (I forget which - yes, some teams did not have practice rounds yesterday. Those who registered late for the Competition received 0 to 1 practice rounds because Competition organizers ran out of time and space).

This year there are four playing fields. Three inside HUGE tents and one on the main stage in front of the stadium (a 20,000-seat portable structure). Our first match was inside and the second was out on the main stage. Inside is much better because you're in amongst team members for 12 teams all competing and screaming and cheering and banging and stomping at the same time. Outside, team members must cheer for their team from the ground (about 5 feet below the stage/playing field). Add to the fact that the noise is not contained and cheering seems weak.

Team spirit is high. Scouting is going on constantly and the team travels to each playing field for matches as a group. Everybody (almost) has a job.

We are currently in search of a monitor tracking Ranks per matches played but have not had much luck. Could be they felt it would be too much with 270 teams. Will update you on our Rank after the next match if we have been able to locate the information. Our total Qualifying Points so far: 61.


WATTNESS Qualifying Matches (all times are approximate):

9:40 - Match #35 with Teams # 94 Techno Jays, #222 Tigertrons (Tunkhannock), and # 371 Roving Robots. We were alligned with #222 !!! AND WE KICKED BOT!!! Match score: Red 25, Blue 15 - giving us and our sister team Qualifying points of 45 and 15, respectively. A cable broke at the very end of the match and the basket plummeted (seem familiar?). Is being fixed as I type.

We stayed in the stands to watch the next match with our sister team, #284 The Crew (formerly the LITTLES). They also kicked bot with a match score of 22 to 4, giving them 12 qualifying points. The minds are already at work for the potential of PA Alliance in the Finals!!! Goosebumps!

11:40 - Match #117 with Teams # 37 Cordzilla, #41 Robo-Warriors, and #151 Lockheed & Nashua High School.

1:40 - Match #182 with Teams #66 Those Meddling Kids (Michigan), #379 Robo Cats (Ohio), and #401 Power Surge (Virginia).

3:40 - Match #249 with Teams #167 The Notorious WRC (Iowa), #236 Techno Ticks (Connecticut), and #322 Adventure Cats (Michigan).

4:40 - Match #334 with Teams #68 Truck Town Terror (Michigan), #155 The Technonuts (Connecticut), and #465 PCEP Lightning (Michigan).

SATURDAY:
9:00 - Match #388 with Teams #98 MAX & Men (Texas), #138 Schrodinger's Cats (New Hampshire), and # 293 Bullbots (New Jersey).

10:00 - Match #447 with Teams #123 Cosmo Force (Michigan), #136 Killennium Kardinals (New Jersey), and #181 Birds of Prey (Connecticut).

I will check in after each match. If you would like to send well wishes (or are bored and scout web pages of our match teams), feel free to email them and I will pass them along. Just don't make the messages too long since I can't print them out! Although, a joy of a laptop with battery is that I can just pop your message up on the screen. Aaahhhhh.


WATTNESS Prepares for Nationals

The local WATTNESS team will be traveling to Epcot Center, Orlando, Florida April 5th through the 9th for the national FIRST competition. WATTNESS placed second at last year's event, and hopes to return home with another top-ranking finish. Despite mechanical troubles and a failure to be picked for the final rounds at the regional competition, March 16-18 at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Team 84 remains optimistic.

At the Epcot Center in Orlando, the team will face the task of uncrating and fine-tuning their robot early Thursday morning. This will be the first time any team members have seen the robot, Chuck IV, since March 18 as it was shipped directly to Florida from the Regional Competition. The team will have just a few short hours to prepare Chuck for the Thursday practice rounds. WATTNESS and the other 259 competing teams will be allowed three to four 10 minute practice rounds spread throughout the day.

Friday and Saturday of the Competition hold the qualifying and final matches where teams from all over the country will be matched in two-team alliances to compete against each other. Alliances must pick up 13-inch balls and place them in a trough, place themselves on an 8-foot wide ramp, and, if robot design allows, lift themselves up off the ramp and hang from a metal bar located 5-feet above the ramp.

WATTNESS will depart from the GPU parking lot at 11:45 on Wednesday, April 5. The public is invited to come and wish the team good luck. From there, the team will travel to Philadelphia via school bus, to board a plane for Orlando. WATTNESS will return on Sunday night.

WATTNESS is sponsoring a Donor Dinner at the Towanda Middle School on April 26 at 6:30 to show the team's appreciation for the donations they received for the 2000 season. The team will also be presenting demonstrations at several festivals and dinners throughout the spring and summer including the Maple Sugar Festival, the Central Bradford County Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, the Dairy Festival, and the Troy Fair. Anyone interested in scheduling a demonstration may contact Jennifer L. Beard at 570-268-2787 or jenn@bcrac.org.


Chuck Pi , the WATTNESS Monster, Runs With the Best in Orlando!

The local Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium / WATTNESS U.S. FIRST team recently placed second in the 1999 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology) National Robotics Competition held at Epcot Center, Walt Disney World, April 22-24, 1999.

After qualifying matches, WATTNESS stood tall with a five and one record. Our local students then ranked in 21st place out of 207 teams according to average points scored per match. Each of the top 16 teams was allowed to choose two alliance partners from any of the teams not in the top 16. WATTNESS team #84 allied with team #45 from Kokomo, IN (sponsored by Delphi Automotive Systems) and team #111 from Schaumburg, IL (sponsored by Motorola, Inc.). Once these threesomes were formed, each alliance could advance only by beating an opposing alliance in a best two out of three series of matches. In each match, a given alliance was allowed to pit any two of its member machines against two machines from the opposing threesome.

Competing in several intense matches, Chuck scored big to help their three-machine partnership to victory. When the dust of grueling elimination settled, only two alliances were left standing. The alliance of team #45, team #111, and our own team #84 would go up against the threesome of team #176 (Windsor Locks, CT), team #1 (Pontiac, MI) and team #48 (Warren, OH). With thousands on hand watching, the WATTNESS team fought valiantly in the finals before yielding a two to one series to the new 1999 national champions.

Clearly, the Bradford County students proved their capability as they held their own against the best. It will be exciting to follow our students next year!


1999 Regional Competition

Local Students Score Big in U.S. First Robotics Competition

The local Northern Tier Industry & Education Consortium / WATTNESS U.S. FIRST team recently placed third in the 1999 Johnson & Johnson/FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology) Mid-Atlantic Regional Robotics Competition held at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March 18-20, 1999.

In only their second year of competition, WATTNESS (acronym for the high schools participating in the program - Wyalusing, Athens, Towanda, Troy, Northeast, and Sayre Schools), placed an outstanding third out of 36 teams from Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Partnered with Team 153 from Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools / Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals & Rutgers University, the WATTNESS team placed closely behind the top 2 finishers comprised of (1) Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Worldwide / Hillsborough High School, NJ and Johnson & Johnson / University of Pittsburgh & Steel Center Vocational Technical School & Tech Link Program of Pittsburgh; and (2) Somerville High School, NJ and M.I.T. / Analog Devices / Intelligent Automation Systems and Cambridge Ringe and Latin High School, MA.

The WATTNESS team also received the Featherweight in the Finals Award , given to the lightest machine participating in the final elimination rounds and the Judges Award for The Team that Did, a special award given at the discretion of the judges, for exemplifying the spirit and cooperation of the FIRST competition, perseverance despite inclement weather, receiving support from a broad range of area businesses rather than one large sponsor, and bringing together six schools that normally compete as rivals in other inter-school activities.

"Our youth have proven themselves by placing third at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition, and they are looking forward to the challenge of national competition at EPCOT," said Roy Woodruff, team treasurer and employee of Masonite.

"This shows kids what awesome things you can do when you put your mind to it," added David Passmore, team volunteer and engineer with Emhart Powers, Elmira, New York.

In its 8th year, the U.S. FIRST competition provides students with an opportunity to see the value of science and technology through the design and creation of radio-controlled robots. Working with other students, adult volunteers and team sponsors, participants also learn the value of teamwork. The competition also teaches students time management, organizational and interpersonal skills that will last a lifetime.

Anyone interested in additional information or providing financial assistance to the team's quest for the national competition, can contact Judy Vanderpool at 570-297-2176, Earl Swain at 570-364-5138, or Roy Woodruff at 570-268-8767.



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