The game was Lunacy®, and that is what it felt like as we raced to various Wal-Marts trying to buy the orbit balls. Greater Kansas City was our first regional. We partnered with 935 and 1997 and made it to the semi-finals. We were saddened to learn of a team’s trailer getting stolen at the Greater Kansas City Regional. Mr. Swartley asked the team if we should donate our $100 MasterCard gift card to the team whose trailer was stolen. Without hesitation we all agreed. He then suggested perhaps other teams might like to do the same. Our students quickly made the rounds in the pit area to share the story and ask if they would like to join us with a donation. In a very short amount of time over $2,000 was raised! At the closing ceremonies we were very surprised and honored to receive the Gracious Professionalism Award. The story had an even better ending when we learned MasterCard heard the story, and issued replacement $100 cards for all the teams that donated theirs. This story is now found on the FIRST website and was later shared in the 2012 kick off as an example of Gracious Professionalism. http://www.usfirst.org/aboutus/nljun09-gracious-professionalism  In addition to the Gracious Professionalism award we were also fortunate enough to receive the Judges award. The Judges award celebrates a team’s unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merit recognition.

In April our team traveled to the North Star Regional in Minneapolis. Two of our team members enjoyed participating in the opening ceremonies after organizers discovered we had two talented violinists as part of our team! We enjoyed partnering with teams 171, and 2175. We played hard, but lost in the semifinals.

2009 found us on the move again since DISTek Integration needed the space for business expansion. We said goodbye to DISTek and moved into an empty building formerly used as a dairy. We worked hard to get the space cleaned to use. It was a labor of love cleaning and moving discarded items. We affectionately called our new workspace, The Doghouse.

Lunacy™ was the 2009 FRC game. This game honored the 40th anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon. The two alliances consisted of 3 robots. A HYBRID PERIOD started the match. After 15 second, the driver took control of the robot. The field was 54 ft by 27 ft. This year, there were no obstacles to go over or around, instead it was underneath. The field material was “Glasliner FRP”. This, along with the mandated wheels gave each robot reduced traction to mimic the effect of low gravity that the robot would see on the moon. Each robot had a trailer behind it in which players and robots tried to place “moon rocks”.

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