Our 2023 season has been an exciting ride: We won our first event, qualified for State, and won the Indiana Engineering Inspiration Award – qualifying us for Worlds!
Now that we are back from Worlds we want to leverage our success to help others in our community connect to this opportunity. Earlier this year, we joined the Indiana FIRST community in advocating for the passing of House Bill 1382, and it passed! This bill provides funding for every school in the state (K through 12) to have a robotics team!
So help us spread STEM! You can help by doing one or more of the actions below:
DONATE! (money, materials, tools, etc)
VOLUNTEER! (mentor, build, etc)
CONNECT! (share with your network, get us in contact with potential schools or sponsors)
Although the school year was completed remotely and the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition season was officially cancelled our seniors had an amazing build season, an awesome first event, and officially graduated last weekend!
These are tough times we are all navigating, but we think it is important to take time to celebrate the accomplishments of these amazing scholars as they take a bold step forward in their journey through life.
We are proud to present our newest Trailblazer Alumni, the 2020 Trailblazer Graduating Seniors!
Nyla is going to IUPUI to study Biomedical Engineering
Lyza (Tindley’s Valedictorian) is going to Embry–Riddle to study Aerospace Engineering
Bradon is going to Louisville to study Industrial Design
Aya is going to Indiana State to study Electrical Engineering
Elijah is going to Illinois to study Criminal Justice
Isaiah is going to Vincennes to study Advanced Manufacturing Technology
During this season these students took a mountain of thrown out equipment heading for the trash and turned an empty room into a STEM lab for the entire school!
These tenacious seniors also showed that no matter what happens during an event, they will never give up and never surrender!
These enterprising students also built strong relationships in the community to ensure the team was sustainable once they graduated.
This amazing group of seniors also helped maintain a local FIRST Lego League team and partnered with their mentors to build a modified power-wheels vehicle for a wonderful young student in the community with cerebral palsy.
And in a true expression of their character, when one of their mentors was hospitalized with COVID-19, the students rallied together and reminded her what strong women are capable of.
These scholars have not just grown into great young problem solvers, they have grown into great young human beings, and we should all feel a lot better about the future of this world knowing that they are the next generation of thinkers and makers to tackle the world’s problems!
If you donated resources, time, or energy to this team over the last four years we can’t thank you enough for making this program a sustainable anchor for the students on this team.
This last weekend the Tindley Trailblazers traveled to Bloomington South HS on Friday (03/07) and competed Saturday (03/08) and Sunday (03/09) at their first event of the season and had a fantastic showing!
They finished the event with a 7-5-0 record and were the number 8 seeded alliance captains! The team built a Jawa themed aesthetic around their robot design (this year’s game is Star Wars themed) so our team captain wore a Jawa costume when building their playoff alliance.
Although the team had a rough start to the event, with their scoring mechanism suffering a catastrophic failure in the first match, the students showed amazing resolve and a lot of grit, working and rebuilding their robot in between matches, while also competing strategically to end up as the top ranked defensive robot of the event. This type of high pressure, rapid response, strategic agility is what really sets this program apart from other STEM initiatives and provides students with the team building fundamentals needed to thrive in our modern industries.
The team also won the Gracious Professionalism award for our work in the community to build and sustain STEM programs, take in students from other schools, and share our limited resources with other groups in need. This is a high honor in FIRST and is judged by industry professionals who spend the weekend interviewing the students and reviewing their team presentations.
We wanted to thank our sponsors for making this program possible through their support and also invite everyone to our next competition (much closer to home) at Perry Meridian on March 27th and 28th! Expanded details are listed below:
The Tindley Trailblazer Robotics team competed in the St Joseph District Event at Penn High School in Mishawaka, IN this weekend. This year’s game is called “Destination: Deep Space” and the team’s robot had to climb down from a platform, carry and place “cargo” to score points, carry and place “hatch panels” to keep the “cargo” in place, and climb back up on the platform. The students had six weeks to build a 100-lb, 4-foot tall robot to accomplish these tasks. The team consistently ranked in the top half throughout the weekend, finishing qualifying matches in 13th place (out of 42 total teams). The robotics team will be competing again at the Center Grove District Event March 29-30. They hope to rank even higher and make it to the playoff matches. Also at the Center Grove District Event, junior Nyla Terry will be competing against young women across the state for the Dean’s List Finalist Award.
It’s hard to believe we’ve already had a week to recover from the 2018 St Joseph District Event!
On Friday evening, the students worked hard, and with the help of other teams at the event, completed building their robot.
Saturday, students got up early and headed back to the school. They continued to make improvements on the robot, test the programming, and practice driving on the practice field. The qualification matches lasted from 9:30am to 7:00pm.
Sunday was another morning, with the student working to rebuild their intake system in the morning. Qualification matches ran all morning, and then the top 8 teams made their picks for playoff alliances. Since the team was not picked for a top 8 alliance, they watched from the stands and learned about other teams’ robots and strategies.
Our wins: The Trailblazers won the Judge’s Award. This is an award reserved for the panel of judges to award to an exemplary team that doesn’t fit nicely into any one award category. The team was awarded this because the students show the makings of a Chairman’s Award team. This is the highest award possible, and this Judge’s Award was a great compliment. Also, the Trailblazers wrote a nomination for Team Roboto, FRC 447 for the Gracious Professionalism Award for their assistance with lending parts and expertise, and teaching the students how to scout. Team Roboto won the Gracious Professionalism Award.
What worked well: the students worked hard, communicated well, and were resilient despite multiple losses. The robot drove well, and the drive team improved operation with each match. The students made new friends from teams around Indiana, and learned how scout other robots for alliance selections.
What needs improving: The students are building a completely new intake system that uses pneumatics rather than mechanical springs. This intake system will be more reliable. The students are completing the lift system this week as well. This will allow the robot to place cubes in the switch and scale, and climb the scale at the end of the game.
Where we ended: Tindley Trailblazer Robotics ranked 33 out of 40 teams at the event. Considering the challenges with the robot and completely new drive team, the team did a great job overall. We currently have 18 district rank points, putting us in 21st rank in the state. There are 32 available slots at Indiana State Championships. However, about half the teams in Indiana haven’t competed in an event yet.
Our outlook: With the improvement to the intake and the lift, and additional drive team practice time, the team has a great outlook for the Plainfield District Event. The students will have to work hard to maintain a spot for State Championships, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities.
We are an organization known as Trailblazer Robotics based out of Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School in Central Indianapolis. Our organization is inspired by a group of high school students that have a passion for STEM. Please join us with your support and follow us on the following social media networks: