Beta has it’s roots in a Lego Club that was started in 2004 in a West Des Moines neighborhood. Since there were no robotics or Lego League groups in the area, this group of young entrepreneurs started their own club to share design ideas and build Lego models.
Team SCRiMmaJge competed in the game Power Puzzle at the Iowa State Championships. The 6th grade team from Jordan Creek Elementary was awarded Honorable Mention for their Project Presentation.
TiJgerS RobotiCs moved on up to Stilwell Junior High and competed in the game Climate Connections at the Science Center of Iowa during the first season of a regional qualifier system.
Under the name “Operation ROBOT,” FTC Team 3550 built a robot named Otis for the FTC challenge, “Hot Shot!” Operation ROBOT was composed of only three members, yet still competed in the Iowa Championship as an all-eighth grade, rookie team. The first year was an overall success with experiences that would pave the way for the future. Otis was designed to complete the challenges of the FTC game “Hot Shot!” He used gears and ramps to shoot wiffle balls after picking them up with a harvester made of cable ties.
Taking up the name Beta, FTC Team 3550 added three new members and said goodbye to one. Beta overcame many challenges competing in the Iowa and Wisconsin Championships. At the Iowa Championship, Beta was honored to receive the Inspire Award, the highest award given to an FTC team, and advanced to the FIRST World Championships. Leonardo featured several complex mechanisms designed to traverse a “mountain” and a balancing bridge. He could also retrieve batons from dispensers, and then deposit them in a rolling goal.
Beta welcomed two more team members (girls!) for a total of seven. For the second year, we had the honor of advancing to the FIRST World Championships where we were nominated for the Promote Award! Sebastian could collect racquet balls, collect/flip crates, place the racquet balls in the crates, push a bowling ball up a ramp, and lift crates up to seven feet in the air by using a telescopic lift, tread collection system, and a flipping aluminum arm.