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11/17/17 – 2017 Robot Rumble

Today Ishrant and I had the pleasure of going to Credit Suisse and participate in the annual Robot Rumble event. This is a fundraising event where multiple companies get together over a single day to build FLL robots and compete with them. These companies send their own employees to compete and have high school mentors (like ourselves) help them out. Both of our teams did well and we had a blast! It was definitely an eye-opening experience to try to help others without doing the work for them. We will be excited to participate again next year!

10/28/17 – THOR at Millbrook

On October 28, we attended THOR Thundering Herd of Robots) – a North Carolina offseason event. In this event, we competed against teams from all around the state along with a few rookie teams and teams from out of state. We went through qualifying with a 4-2 record, placing us as the eighth seed going into alliance selections. We were then the first pick of the second alliance putting us in an alliance with 1533 and 3459. We won our quarterfinals with flying colors against the seventh alliance. Unfortunately, our run came to an end sooner than expected with two losses and a win in the semifinal round. It was a great run!

06/21/17 – Marketing Meeting Notes

For around the first hour of the build space meeting on Wednesday, we sat down and had a meeting regarding the most urgent tasks that needed to be completed, including:

Build Space Search

We are very grateful to have extended time in our current build space, however, we seem to be letting up on the search which cannot happen. We chose to assign “classes” or business groups to the students that were there. We also assigned the parents that showed up to a group with a student for the purpose of calling.

  • Big Businesses/Companies – Ankit

  • Hardware Stores – Bhargav

  • Realtors – Ivan & Russel, Sergio

  • Industrial Realtors – Rahul, Sergio

  • Small Businesses – Ryan, John

  • Shopping Centers – Ash, Shrijan

These students and parents have been told to try and have a list of 15-20 businesses in their category by a strict deadline of Saturday. We will begin calling on Monday during office hours. We request that our team contacts Ash, a mentor, or a student working on a group to help us. It will not take anyone more than a few minutes and they do not have to physically be here to make a big difference in this search.

Writing Grants

We have asked Rahul to help Amy and the marketing team out through grant finding a writing. That being said, we need grants. They are the reason that we are still running. We ask our team to please help find and write grants, especially if they are out of town. We are soon going to require everyone on the team to help before building if it is not done, as this is something that cannot be forgotten about.

We are in the process of contacting people to begin setting up FLL for the fall. Anyone that would like to join and help should make that known to Bhargav or Ash. We must make lesson plans and such before moving forward.

Fundraising & Website Update

Along with grant writing, we must fundraise to support this team. Bhargav has chosen to come up with a plan for the team, but if our team has any original ideas try to contact him. Also, be open-minded about helping to fundraise even if you are not marketing because help is needed. Amy and Ash are continuing the website update and are looking to remake and modernize it. If anyone have any requests on the website or recommendations please contact me about it.

06/07/17 – Marketing

Today in marketing, we worked on the website, grants, the search for a build space, fundraising, and held a student-leader parent meeting.  On the website, we spent time discussing the best ways to update and improve our current website to make it more current and appealing. On grants, we began assigning students to take charge and begin writing. We started searching for a donor for a build space and also started planning what sort of fundraising events we intend on putting together in this coming year.

In our leadership meeting, we went through crucial tasks, most of which are on urgent timelines. First, we must have multiple robots in functioning condition for upcoming outreach. Then, we must also have robots ready for THOR coming up in August and October, which also needs the sign up of many students, mentors, and parents. We must also move out of the majority of our build space and start deciding what is necessary to keep and what we can afford to get rid of or keep in storage. On top of that, we must focus on finding a new build space, and quickly! Throughout the summer, we must make improvements to our websites, even if it is the bare minimum and find students to assign to that. In addition, we must hold a boosters club meeting with parent officers and find students to help support our treasurer as she begins to fundraise for the upcoming season. There’s lots of hard work to do, and I believe that we are fully capable of pulling through with it.

Week 1 of Competition Season: Pitt County District Competition

“Pilots in position, drivers behind the line; match starts in 3, 2, 1 -”

Excitement filled the gym of South Central High School in Winterville, NC, as the first match of the Pitt County event of 2017 FRC STEAMWORKS started on March 3rd, 2017. We were confident that our robot, the Clockwork, would readily move in the field.

Our team, allying with Team 5511 the Cortechs and Team 3459 the Pyrotech, was ready to take off our airship for the very first match of this event. And our effort was reflected in the field as we were totally ready to lift off.

Busily moving from the pit to the gym, our team members made the robot in position. In between the matches, we were at the Chairman’s Award interview, Dean’s List interviews, and Safety award interviews. We were also at different teams’ pits helping them out while they are fixing their robot for the matches. Communicating with other teams as we were visiting them and collecting their buttons was one of the best moments we experienced. Talking about the robot, matches and the buttons allowed us to get to know other teams better than ever.

Our communication skills shined during the alliance selection. Although we were not the alliance captain, we were graciously selected by Team 5160 the Chargers and Team 5511 the Cortechs. With this strong alliance, we were able to pierce through the playoff matches and go to the final round of the playoff. Although our team just stopped as a finalist for this event, this event marked the start of our upward trend of this season!

We started our upward trend not only of the matches buy also of the awards. From this event, we were honored with Quality Award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundations. This award is given to the team who built the robot in quality and whose entire team demonstrated robustness and quality!

With this great start of the competition season, we headed to our next district event, to Raleigh!

Safety Animation!

Originally, we started as a group of 5, and made a plan. We combined robot safety with this year’s medieval theme, and created a storyboard where a medieval knight has to pull Excalibot (like Excalibur) from a rock, and she has to follow the same safety precautions and actions as you need when building and handling an FRC robot.

Next, we assigned roles, and started animating using ToonBoom software. Students made their own part of the scene, and their parts were meshed together into the video that you see today. Then sound was added, and BOOM… Safety Animation Video!


Holiday Party

This weekend we had our first ever holiday party. We got the whole team together and served dinner and played some holiday games likes Secret Santa! It was great to get the team together for a non build purpose and just to socialize.

S/O to the students who went to Johnston County for the NC FIRST Pre-Season Workshops. We learned a lot and also S/O to NC FIRST for hosting the workshops!

Saturdays are always better with food!

The only way to really do a Saturday morning right is with food. Chick-fil-a made an appearance as well as some fresh fruits and veggies. The holiday cookies were the biggest hit of the day, food really makes any meeting go so much smoother. With our bellies full and minds wide awake, we were able to discuss the details of our holiday party as well as our search for a new build space. We also made some sponsorship request letters. Adele may have also made an appearance with her fantastic new album.
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