On the weekend of April 29-30th, RamTech 59 traveled to Troy, New York to compete in the Ten80 National STEM League Finals. The team took an early bird flight in order to arrive at the event at 2 PM. Our first day was focused on pit setup, practice, and business pitches. They returned to the hotel to discuss strategy and plans for the races on the following day. The next day, the team arrived at the event with a confident mentality on what was to happen throughout the next few hours. Once the first set of races began, it became obvious some of the cars were running faster than others. With a bit of scouting, it was discovered some teams were using a special type of tire that allowed them to make their cars much faster than the rest of the competition. RamTech’s fastest lap was still half a second behind these teams. The team quickly realized that first place was likely not going to happen and began set their hopes for a podium finish. Hopes were high near the end of the first endurance race as it seemed like second place was a likely outcome. RamTech managed to tie in the amount of laps with one of these dominating cars. Unfortunately, the tie breaker was resolved when lap times were compared, putting the team behind. Spirits were raised now that it was shown that they could compete with these cars that seemed untouchable. Maybe they couldn’t keep up with them when it came to lap times, but it was possible to defeat them in the long endurance race. Everything looked promising half-way through the race as RamTech had been in second place until that time. It was then that the car in first place began to have mechanical problems. This was the opportunity that RamTech had been hoping for. It became a dogfight for first place between RamTech and Rippin’ Racing. With ten minutes left, both teams began to have mechanical problems with their cars. After a quick diagnosis by the pit crew, it was determined that the steering servo on the car had shattered and left the car damaged. A last ditch effort was made by the team by putting leaving the car to run with limited steering potential. All the time that was used in the pit allowed other cars in the race to catch up to the leaders and eventually overtake them in lap count. RamTech ended up taking 7th place overall in the final endurance race. The team went on to take 4th place overall at Nationals, becoming the highest placing rookie team at the event. Individual event scores are as follows: 6th in Racing Events, 1st in Aerodynamic Design, 2nd in Drag Racing, 7th in Data Driven Design, 14th in Enterprise, 3rd in Graphic Design, 5th in Community Outreach, and 3rd in Energy Challenge. Even though the team was sad about not being able to take a trophy home, they used this as a learning experience, given that this was their first year. We are extremely grateful to have been able to participate in this amazing competition and are even more grateful to the sponsors that helped make all of this possible. Be sure to watch out for Ramtech 59 in the 2017-2018 Ten80 National STEM League!