Blog - August 2012

FRC Pre-Season Planning

As the robotics school year ramps up the FRC team is also planning for next season. We will be having a planning meeting in the near future so check your emails for any upcoming event. This meeting will discuss any issues we had last season and possible solutions to them for the season to come. We will also discuss possible alternative projects for FRC Fridays to complete prior to next season.

Graphic Design Meetings

The graphic design and animation meetings will be coming up starting next Wednesday, the 5th of September. I’m hoping to see a great turn out this year. It’ll be great if I can get more people coming to these. Remember, come to the Graphic Design Meetings, we have cookies.

VEX Tournament Meeting

With the VEX season set to start Thursday, we can now begin to plan for the Bellarmine VEX Tournament in November. The first parent and volunteer meeting will occur within the next few weeks. The number of volunteers we get from this first meeting will determine how smoothly the ride will be all the way into November.


Shockwave Update

There was some difficulty using shockwave today. The connections were working, but the motors would not turn. A group of us troubleshooted this through the afternoon, but to no avail. Hopefully we can get it back up and runnning soon.

PR Update

Alright guys, here’s the PR update of the week. We’ve now had our two introductory meetings for the freshmen and returning members, and are ecstatic about the results. Seventy five freshmen signed up! Add that to our returning members and we’re going to have a great time this year. Over the next three days, we’re going to have VEX workshops, as well as the first parent meeting in awhile, so make sure you attend those! The VEX workshops are going to be amazingly helpful, and the parent meeting is a great way to stay in the loop. Remember to check your emails and the blog! Communication is key.

Mandatory Events This Week

A couple reminders:

  • All students are required to attend the introductory meeting. They are on August 22nd and 23rd (come to one OR the other) from 3:00 to 4:00, in Sobrato Theater. These are mandatory meetings, as announced in the previous informational email.
  • Vex Kickoff (similar to FRC kickoff, but for VEX) is also a required event. It is on August 30th from 3:00 – 5:00. Location TBD.
  • Whole Team Meetings are now every Wednesdays afterschool in Andrade, starting on the 29th. Please look at the calendar for more information.
  • Please make sure your account works on the website (BOTH parents and students).
  • Parent Meeting on August 28th at 7:00 in Sobrato.

FRC Fridays

As the new school year begins, all aspects of the Bellarmine Robotics Team go into full bloom. Along side other major subjects such as Finance, VEX, Graphic Design, and of course FRC. Soon we will be establishing FRC Fridays as a way for both new and old members to be introduced into FRC in the offseason and get involved in the program. In our near future we will be finishing upgrades designed throughout the summer with Shockwave and will continue on to other projects needing to be finished prior to the beginning of the FRC season. Stay tuned for updates and upcoming times and locations for FRC Fridays.

VEX Prototyping Session

This past Wednesday several of our VEX leaders, both captains and sub-captains, met in the old VEX lab for a prototyping session. The session was extremely productive; the VEX leaders each tried different approaches to intaking game objects, trying different construction methods to see what worked and what did not. The assigned captain/sub-captain pairs worked together to give each other inspiration and correct each others’ mistakes. While doing this, they took careful notes of what they tested, giving them something to work with when build starts as well as creating a foundation for the Design Notebooks which are so important for awards.

FRC Offseason Events

With the robotics season about to begin, Team 254 is set to attend two off season FRC tournaments for the 2012 game Rebound Rumble. Over the next few weeks we will begin preparing and packing for CalGames 2012, which is scheduled to begin October 12th. As the only local FRC tournament in the fall, every team member is expected to attend to show their support for the Cheesy Poofs. After CalGames, Team 254 will travel down to Madera for another annual off season tournament, Madtown Throwdown.  In addition to FRC, a planning meeting for the annual Bellarmine VEX Tournament will happen within the next few weeks.

Upcoming Intro Meetings

There are two upcoming meetings introducing 254 robotics to potential recruits on the following days:

  • Wednesday August 22nd
  • Thursday August 23rd

At these meetings we will showcase our 2011-2012 basketball shooting robot Skyfire as well as give important information about the team.

Website redesign

As you may have noticed, the Team 254 website has been redesigned significantly. We’ve been working hard on updating it to modern web design standards, improving content, and reorganizing the site to be more logical. We hope that users find the site easier to navigate and more visually pleasing. The team member portal has also been re-created and should be easier to navigate.

We’ve imported most users from the old website, so we recommend trying to log in with your same credentials. If you’re having trouble logging in and cannot request a new password, contact stephen.

We heavily utilized Twitter Bootstrap in the redesign, so the site should display consistently across all modern web browsers. Behind the scenes, we’re running the latest version of WordPress. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.

PR Update

This week we went to Diversity Day, and had an open lab for freshman to attend. Both were huge successes. At diversity day, we had approximately 100 people stop by to see the robot, as well as many who got to play with it. At the open lab, we had about 60 people attend, 24 of which were incoming freshman. We set up five stations for them to attend, all lead by our leadership team and senior team members. We had Machining with Mani, Louis, and Cory, Driving with Aaron and Abhi, Building with Nick (Eyre) and Kyle, VEX with Jonathan Chang, and Programming with Richard. Everything went smoothly and we’re looking forward to the oncoming year.

Summer Wrap-Up

We had a very busy past week, with two outreach events/demos. On Wednesday, we had a Diversity Day event at NASA. We had a great turnout. Thank you to everyone who attended. We were able to show a lot of people our robot and many were impressed. A picture of us demoing the robot is below.

Team 254 at NASA Diversity Day

Even bigger news, we held our first Freshman Lab Day on Saturday, where over 60 incoming freshman and their families came to the lab to witness robotics first hand. It was an excellent opportunity for the incoming freshman to see if they want to do robotics before they even start school (Robotics: +1, speech and debate: 0). It was an awesome recruitment event and everything went well. Since it was such a success, we will be having more of these events in the following years. A picture is included below of Vex Leader, Jonathan Chang demonstrating a vex robot to a group of freshman and their parents.

Incoming Freshman Open HouseThat said, we had a very successful week and an excellent transition for our 2012-2013 season. Our first meetings will be on August 22nd and 23rd. Both of them will be held afterschool in Sobrato Theater. Please be there by 2:50 so we can start promptly. Both meetings will be the same. ALL RETURNING MEMBERS MUST ATTEND. If you cannot attend any of those two meetings, please let Mrs. Roemer know immediately. These will be introduction meetings, where we will talk about the team and the rest of the school year. If you do not attend, your membership on the team will be up for consideration. This is one of the few mandatory events we have throughout the year.

We make mandatory events, because they are integral to the development of the team. If you ever cannot make it to a mandatory event, please let a teacher know immediately and they will discuss it with you. All information after ANY meeting will be posted here on the blog under its designated category, so make sure you check here daily. In addition, and just as importantly, it is necessary that you check the blog on a daily basis. Every time you open up Facebook, think about opening up the blog. That is how you will stay connected with the team, and know what is happening.

The leadership has been preparing all year for the beginning of the year and we are alle very excite for this new year. See you all on August 22 or 23rd. Welcome to the 2012-2013 robotics season.