BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Newton Varsity Robotics Team 3142 Aperture had another eventful weekend competing at Bridgewater-Raritan High School. Opening ceremony began on schedule and then out came the robots with their respective drive teams.
Team 3142 Aperture however shocked the crowd as their drive team strutted onto the field wearing the formerly retired lab coats. Previous teams had a reputation for wearing those coats and perhaps there was some magic left in those historic coats because 3142 Aperture dominated their first match and ended the first day of the competition in rank 13.
It was safe to say at this point their robot, Apollo 3142, was not just an extraordinary robot, but one that was favored to be chosen for an alliance if they did not finish in the top eight ranking.
As day two rolled in, the fan section for the team was full of screaming, dancing and cheering for 3142 Aperture. Even if they did not win every match, team captain, Luke Bandel, not only kept his cool on the field, but continued to convey a positive attitude that demonstrated a perfect representation of the most important core value of FIRST, which is gracious professionalism.
During the last day of the competition 3142 did not get picked to join an alliance, but as the team returned to the stands to watch the final matchups of the , one of the competing robots broke leading to Apollo 3142 to be asked to sub in.
Bandel shook hands with the captain of robotics team, 303 T.E.S.T and the drive team raced back to the pits to bring Apollo 3142 up to the field. The captains on the alliance requested that 3142 played defense and although they did as they were instructed after two rounds Aperture was applauded off the field following a loss against another alliance by just one point.
Sadly, this was the end of the competition for Newton and the team came home empty handed after the awards ceremony, but not all hope is lost for 3142 Aperture this season. There still is a chance of getting into the next competition held at Lehigh University.
In two weeks James Hofmann, Aperture´s coach, will be notified depending on the teams standing in the Mid-Atlantic region whether or not they can continue on. If they have a high enough rank after these two weeks then this will give Aperture a second shot at proving to all the other teams what they already know and that is that when Aperture wants something bad enough they will do anything they can do to make it happen.
Editor's Note: Tamara Barkman is a student journalist member of the Aperture Robotics team
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