This year we presented the school with some Robot Bling

The team took home a Quality Award and an Industrial Design award this season. these are the first awards the team has ever won. So this is the first time we have had the opportunity to present the school our trophies.  Last Thursday the team presented Dr. Goodwin with the two awards that they won, one at each tournament, and he told them that he was so proud of the team and what leaders they are becoming.

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As a bonus, one of our students, John Ballock, and teacher mentor Daniel Chen, represent Team 1389 and Walt Whitman well in this video that aired on MCPS TV!

Thanks for all of the support this year!!!

Now to start working on hosting an FRC district event at Walt Whitman.


World Championships Starts Today……OHHHH YEAHHHH!!!!!

Team 1389’s season may have ended a few weeks ago, but for 608 of FRC’s finest teams their season is kicking into overdrive this this week.   Those 30,000+ students who are making the trek to St Louis are about to have a life changing event at the 2015 FIRST World Championships.  The FIRST World Championships is 3 days of FRC competitions, FTC competitions, and FLL competitions with over 40,000 people in attendance cheering, screaming, dressing funny and dancing all in support of learning.  Our hat’s are off to the team’s who earned their spot to this year’s event, especially the team’s from Maryland:

  • FRC 836, RoboBees – Archimedes
  • FRC 1111, PowerHawks – Newton
  • FRC 1629, GaCo – Carson
  • FRC 2377, C Company – Carson
  • FRC 2534, The Lakers – Carson
  • FRC 3941, TechBrick Robotics – Tesla
  • FRC 4541, Cav-ineers – Newton
  • FRC 4945 Titanium Wrecks – Carver
  • FTC 8221, Cubix – Franklin
  • FTC 3113, Some Disassembly Required – Edison
  • FTC 7182, Mechanical Paradox – Edison
  • FTC 5916, Bo-Bots – Edison
  • FTC 4318, Green Machine Reloaded – Franklin
  • FLL 9764, TechWeb
  • FLL 5709, Mindstorm Masterminds
  • FLL 161, Fast and Curious
  • Jr.FLL 418, SWAT BOTs

The FIRST World Championships also brings out over 100 of the top universities and recruiters from many more universities who are scoping out the best in high school STEM talent in much the same way you get recruiters at high school sporting events.  These recruiters are hoping to talk to the top team’s and lure their seniors with free rides and access to undergraduate research.  Above all, FIRST World Championships is a place for kids of all ages to see that people can go just as crazy for nerdy things as they can for sports or entertainment events.  This may not sound like a big deal, but to many kids this is only event in the world that makes people jump up and down with pure joy for science.

You can watch along with ten’s of thousands of people from around the world this week via a webcast sponsored by NASA.  The links are here and will also be available on the Blue Alliance.

As soon as it is over we are going to double our efforts to be one of the lucky team’s to attend the last World Championship Event that FIRST is going to host in 2016.  Please join our team as a sponsor, volunteer, mentor or student to make this dream a reality.

What a Great Weekend

At our second regional event we ended up seeded 8th with a 70.66 pt average, became the 6th alliance captain, finishing 5th and won the quality award.  This was an amazing end to a great season that saw the team make some big strides towards becoming an elite team.  The head referee came up to us this year and said that our robot was one of the best he has seen from a local team.

Thanks to our alliance partners 2537 and 4547 for making the eliminations exciting. And a special shout out to team 4547 for being willing to work with us and add a 2 can auton device.

Congrats to 1690, 2363 and 4050 for putting together an impressive alliance.

The team is psyched and has already started thinking about next season. We are going to be meeting in a few weeks to nail down what we can do between now the start of the 2016 season to make better robots and start our journey to becoming a chairman’s teams.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this season possible!!!!

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Deja vu…We are ranked 7th again at the end of Friday

WHAM!!! what a great day. Lots of cheering, scoring and testing.  The team’s rank may be the same but our average is nearly 10 pts higher ans is sitting at 71.28.  It would have been higher but we tried playing with our arm for the first three matches yesterday with mixed results, so the drive team decided to pull it.

We also received some great compliments today from other teams who talked about our simplicity, effectiveness and overall team improvement from last year.”You don’t even look like the same team” we were told during a conversation about top team’s in the area. Definitely helped boost our spirits.

The team also had a few interviews for our dean’s list candidates and in a strange fluke, it looks like our chairman’s submission last weekend never took, so we were able to try it again this week.

Big thanks to the VIP’s that stopped by our pit today: George Leventhal, Montgomery County Council President and Darryll Pines, the Dean of the University of Maryland Clark School of Engineering.

We have already started talking elimination’s alliance partners and some serious cheesecaking.  It will be off to home depot this morning for sure, good luck to everyone competing this weekend.

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Here is our schedule for the weekend

You can find the entire weekend schedule here

Quals 1 449 2642 1389 1915 2900 4050
Quals 18 1389 1446 1086 3283 1690 2534
Quals 25 5106 4821 1389 1111 4945 2363
Quals 33 4638 1389 2537 4928 375 2963
Quals 41 1719 2377 615 1111 1389 4949
Quals 54 3941 1610 5115 2849 4945 1389
Quals 59 1690 1389 2964 4456 1195 1629
Quals 71 4464 4514 3793 1389 2914 2963
Quals 83 686 3389 1829 1389 1598 2199


Looks like it is going to be a tough schedule, we only play with the top teams 3 times.


Spring has Sprung, The Grass has Risen, Now lets get this Robot Going and Prolong this Season!

The Chesapeake Regional is under way at the University of Maryland Exfinity Center.  We had a great day of practice where we worked on some technique and are now rearing to get going.   We added an arm, worked on our auton and starting making stacks of 5.  But, we broke a tab and struggled with horizontal cans.  We will be adding some additional tabs today to help with making those pickups easier.

Todat we also had several of our team members interviewed by the Montgomery County Public School System for their website.

All in all it was a good day, but it was a scary day. the competition here is definitely stiff. Last week their was one robot with a relatively good Offensive Point Rating (OPR).   This week their are 6… So we will need to pick up our game and aim for 100pts a match if we want to remain competitive.

If you can’t make the event and want to watch from home or the office here is the live stream


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We are getting ready for our second event and having some fun as well. Thanks to FRC Team 4928 from the United Arab Emirates for inviting us to your Arabian Night social.


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We have also been hard at work getting a new addition ready for this weekend. Parts have arrived and the work will start tomorrow. If all goes well it will be helping us on Friday evening and Saturday.

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Can’t wait to see everyone tomorrow at the Chesapeake Regional – 4/2/15 to 4/4/15 – College Park, MD

Working to make our week 6 event our 2nd of 3 events

The team decided to make some modification to the robot to improve its capabilities for week.  Add a tote blocker, redo the electronics board for better FTA access and modify the ramp to eliminate the catching issue we encountered in a few matches last week.

We also met on Monday to go over all of the likes and dislikes from last weekend. To sum it up, the team was pretty happy with our performance last weekend and wants to improve and have been working hard the last few days to make changes to our bot, our judging materials and our strategy.  Because the competition this weekend is going to much stiffer we are also chaning our word of the day from “safety” to “make it happen”

See everyone in 2 days at the Chesapeake Regional – 4/2/15 to 4/4/15 – College Park, MD