On Sunday January 8th 2012 the Aztechs Team 157 met for their kickoff to introduce and discuss this year’s game ‘Rebound Rumble.’ The meeting followed the refined and time-tested formula of presentation, question and answer, and then small group discussion.  The room was silent as the game animation was presented the first time and the usual murmurs rose from the group during the second showing as people discussed with their neighbors their initial ideas and impressions.  Everyone had questions on their mind and they were discussed amongst the group.  Rules were discussed and solutions tossed around to solve this year’s challenges.  The team then segued into the group discussion of the strategies we would like to use to play the game (shhhhh, it’s a secret).

Then the crux of the idea period was reached and the students broke up into smaller groups to begin thinking about possible mechanisms that would solve the challenges in the way that the team had decided to play them.  The groups came together at the end of the meeting and presented their ideas for everyone to consider before the next meeting.

Based upon their interests, the students divided up into the teams that they will participate with throughout the build and excitedly started brainstorming with the adult mentors, trying to decide how they wanted to proceed.  More mechanically inclined students gravitated towards the robot and game-specific challenge teams, while more creatively inclined students elected to work with other aspects of the Aztech vision, including the spirit and web design teams. Ideas were collectively shared in the design groups and with the team as a whole, as the excitement that is the FIRST season got underway.  This year’s team involves students from all shops and grades. Many are returning from previous years, as are many of the mentors. Of the returning mentors there are 10 that are Team 157 alumni.

We continue to push towards our February 21 deadline, which seems like plenty of time, but in reality, it’s about 4 weeks away!