Last Saturday the family got themselves up at 4:30 a.m. [or as we like to call it, "O-Dark-Thirty"] loaded the team robot in the minivan, and headed out in a snowstorm to attend the Arlington, MA FTC Qualifier Tournament. Judging began at 8 a.m. and the day progressed through game play ["Bowled Over" is this year's challenge!] into semi-finals, and the awards ceremony. They were knocked out for final game play, were nominated for three different awards--the one they won is called the Think Award which is bestowed upon "...the team that best reflects the "journey" the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The Engineering Notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team."The team was thrilled! Even more thrilling was their runner up honor for the Inspire Award which allows them to move up to the Massachusetts State Tournament...and who knows? Worlds?!? If you haven't heard about FTC before, I recommend it highly...it's a mid-level, more affordable option to the FRC competition with which you might be familiar.