Maryland and Montgomery County Robotics Funding Updates

We are getting closer, and could still use your voice.

  • Good News. The state level bills HB 115 and SB 582 have passed and are still sitting on Governor Larry Hogans desk.
  • Bad News. Tomorrow, May 19th, is the last scheduled legislation signing day for the 2016 legislative session, and unfortunately, the Governor has chosen not to sign the bill at this point. At the conclusion of session, the Governor stated that he would look skeptically on any bill that spent any new money not previously included in his budget. However, please note that the legislation is not lost. There are several outcomes moving forward.
    • First, the Governor could chose to veto the bill entirely. This would be a terrible decision and one that I don’t think is very likely. The bill had bi-partisan sponsorship, including the Republican House Minority Leader, and passed both chambers with bi-partisan supermajority votes. A veto override would be inevitable and easily achieved.
    • Second, the Governor can conclude his review of the legislation, agree that it is the right thing to do, and schedule an ad hoc signing day for any remaining bills that he might decide to sign. If that was to happen, we will immediately let you know. It will be a quick turnaround, and there will be very little notice available to anyone who might want to come to Annapolis to take part.
    • Finally, the Governor can chose to do nothing. If he takes no action on the bill by May 31st (13 days from now), the bill will automatically become law without his signature.
  • CALL TO ACTION: We need everyone across the state to reach out to Governor Larry Hogan and his staff to let them know this is important and needs to be funded. To contact the Governor;
    1. Please go to this form
    2. Fill in all of your contact information
    3. Copy and past this this subject “Pass HB 115 and SB 582 to elevate MD Robotics”
    4. Copy and paste the template into the message box

 

Keep pushing, we know every Maryland student appreciates your efforts.

Call the gov

 

FIRST_FRC-Program-Excitement FIRST_FRC-Program-ItsaExp_0 FIRST_FRC-Program-HardestFun
Please take the time to reach out to our elected officials so we can help grow robotics!

 

This Saturday the team is having a robot party

Parents, volunteers, sponsors, community members, school leaders and students come out this Saturday at 6pm to our team’s end of the year banquet. Please email us for location admin@team1389.com.

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Also, our students will be meeting from 2-5 pm at the robotics room to plan out the next season.  If you want to be on the leadership team or want a say in what the team is going to do next season you should probably show up.

The 2016-2017 goals

Yesterday, the team met to discuss last season and start to make plans for how we step up our game for next season. We had lots of great observations and lessons learned and many great ideas. First, the team reviewed the 2015-2016 goals to see how well we did meeting them;

  • Lab organization
    • Did better than last year till the snow storm, than we did the same
    • We need new system that is
      • lazy proof
      • easy to understand / well labeled
      • easy able to get in and out of robotics room
    • Students need more self discipline
      • individual tool kits might be a good idea
      • using a tool chit system combined with tool boxes that are shadowed
  • Win regional and go to worlds!
    • We did better, still have more work todo
    • We did make it to worlds, but we want to earn it next year
  • Team 1/4 girls
    • The team felt we achieved 50% of this goal
    • We did
      • Increase the number of girls on the team
      • Increase the number of girls on the core team
      • Marginalized some of the girls by not including them in critical decisions
      • Selected a girl for the drive team
    • We did not
      • Get enough girls in leadership
      • Keep girls involved on the technical side as much as we should have
    • Things we should change
      • Get more girls involved in leadership
      • Ensure the team has a minimum of 8 girls
      • Make sure girls are part of every critical decision
  • Finish robot earlier in build season
    • The team really missed the mark on this one
    • The programmers never really had enough time with the robot
    • Here are some ideas on how to do this better next year
      • Need to do more prototyping
      • Need to get more people involved in CAD
      • Need to have work well defined
      • Need to have a snow day plan
      • Build a second robot
  • Score autonomous points
    • We did really well here
    • We can do better by getting all of the auton points on a consistent basis next year
  • Fundraising more
    • The team missed the $68,000 goal
    • The team raised nearly $40,000 this year
    • Next season
      • Need to increase fund raising
      • Make fund raising mandatory
      • Do more earlier
  • Outreach
    • Team improved here
    • Team needs to do more here
    • team needs a chairman’s plan that goes out 5 years so that out reach efforts can be coordinated
  • 2-4k for last season’s cost
    • Team raised $1,000 to cover the 2014-2015 cost overrun
    • The cost overruns from this year are also an issue
    • Team needs a budget for next season
    • Team needs to spend per the budget
  • Hold mock build seasons this summer and fall
    • Team partially completed this
    • Team needs to do this for next season

 

Next, we went over what went well this season, what did not go well this season and what we need to change for next season;

  • What went well
    • We went to worlds
    • Did a better job scouting
    • Built a turret (mostly)
    • Worked well together
    • Fixed flaws in design
    • Alright driving
    • Pretty organized code
    • Fastener standardization
    • Auton points
    • Task pairing for assignments
    • Hosted a competition
    • Strong fund raising when we made an effort
    • New mentors
    • Better leadership structure
    • Most complex robot ever
    • Tech phone calls during snow
    • Cheering at Walt Whitman Event
    • Using crate as pit at worlds
  • What did not go well
    • How we used belts
    • Project hand offs
    • Leadership structure still to lose
    • Not enough depth in some system teams
    • Need better document team decision making process
    • Not enough inclusion
    • To many design flaws
    • Not enough prototyping
    • Building field elements took to long
    • Bumpers
    • Didn’t finish on time
    • Snow plan did not work
    • Tool standardization
    • Organization
      • wasted a lot of time looking for things
      • lost things
    • Sharing knowledge
    • Sharing responsibility
    • Picking leaders
    • Including human player in decision making
    • Control station
    • Controllers
    • Cheering at Dist Champs and Worlds
    • Pre event scouting
    • Better pit design
    • No real safety stuff this season
  • Things to do better, differently next season
    • Involve freshman more
    • Agile development
    • Use backlog and Scrum board with stickies
    • Quick attach bumpers
    • Single piece bumpers
    • Get done on schedule in week 4 with test bot
    • Keep more people involved
    • Drive team does only drive team
    • Uniform organization for all code
    • Team leads delegate more responsibility
    • Team leads make sure everyone on team has work
    • Include more girls in descisions
    • Include more girls in leadership
    • Include more girls on each sub team
    • Do a better job choosing the right fastener
    • Create more trust within team and sub teams
    • Make sure each sub team has a first, second and third in command
    • Sub team leads need to make sure they are always on the same page
    • Keep and formalize work pairing
    • Pair up new team members with seniors
    • Make sure new people come to off seasons
    • Learn how to do machining
    • Make sure drive team members commit to scheduled and possible events
    • Pick drive team in the fall
    • Do a better job picking drive team
    • Pick team leads in May
    • Copy how the stage crew picks their people
    • Communicate changes in control systems better
    • Better control system labeling
    • Do a better job of creating an inclusive environment for everyone
    • Stress that stepping in / over people is not how we operate
    • Stress that saying nothing or not asking also send a message to people
    • Need to cheer louder
    • More stagey feedback to drivers from scout team
    • More involvement in scouting
    • Setting up two lead position in scouting, one in the pit and one in the stands who talk to each other, the scout in the pits accompanies drive team on strategy discussions.
    • Better pre event scouting
    • Pre event pick lists
    • Include more cameras in base design
    • Create better drive station that includes input from multiple cameras
    • Write awards in fall
    • Create an awards strategy in May
    • Set awards goals for the team for next season
    • Use pnuematics
    • Better pit design for pit team and awards team
    • Improve safety
    • Maintain tools better

After that the team discussed the FIRST national Advocacy conference. The team is planning on taking 3 students and is looking for volunteers to attend the June 19th to 21st. Each slot will cost the team $260 so those who would like to go should try and do some fund raising before the end of the school year. Here is a list of all of the advocacy work we have scheduled for the summer. We encourage any robotics team or program to join us if you are interested.

  • MD Federal representatives June 19-22
    • Part of FRC Team 27 National Advocacy Conference
  • Mo Co county – July 18th
    • County Board
    • County Executive
    • County School Board
    • County Dept. of Health & Human Services
    • County Dept. of Economic Development
  • Mo Co State representative – August 8th
  • MD Dept. of education – August 15th
  • MD Governor – August 15th

 

Next we talked about the team banquet. it is being held the evening of May 21st. More details to come. Please be sure to tell your parents, any sponsors, school officials who helped and any and all volunteers that made this season possible.

 

We moved on to talking about our seniors. We really want to know where everyone is going and what their major’s are. We also want to think of some way of recognizing our seniors before they leave the program. Lastly we want to collect some data that the team can use to win awards in the future.

 

Next we talked about all of the to do items in May. This list is critical as we get ready to end the school year and make next season more successful.

  • Set up time in lab – Ari
  • Set up a fund raiser – Micaela
  • pick new team leads – JJ & Natalie
  • Plan banquet – Parents
  • Set up a drive day at Walt Whitman so that anyone on the team can drive Maelstrom – Floris
  • Set up drive day at Pyle so that incoming freshman get a chance to drive – ??
  • Set up robot demos – Joey
  • Clean up lab and robot room – Sebastian and Theo
  • Invite sponsors to banquet – ??
  • Make senior gifts – Micaela
  • Find space for summer – Ari and Jonah
  • Make Liftzilla and Maelstrom completely functional for summer demos
  • Get robots, tower and drive station to United Therapeutics before school closes

 

Lastly, and most importantly we set the goals for the 2016-2017 season

  • Raise $50,000, create a budget and be within 10% of the budget
  • Create a larger and more diver core group with a minimum of 4 people on each sub team
  • Ensure that leadership team and that each sub team has at least one female
  • Win district and district championship
  • Have 3 major impacts on the community
  • Transfer knowledge to more incoming students

 

The team will meet again in the 21st to create the plans to make these goals a reality. Here is the agenda for that meeting;

 

  • Agenda items for the 21st
    • 2016 summer plans
      • starting teams
        • FTC
        • FLL
    • 2016 fall plans
      • Off seasons
        • Battle O’Baltimore – Sept ?? 2016, Baltimore, MD.
        • Girl power – Oct ?? 2016, Flourtown, PA.
        • Rumble in the roads – Nov 5 2016, Newport News, VA
      • training
      • fund raising
    • 2017 spring plans
    • picking team leaders
    • picking drive team
    • lab cleanup
    • Communication tools
    • respect
  • Lab Cleanup May 23rd, 25th and 27th

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We need your lessons learned

Now that the 2015-2016 FRC season is over, we need to switch gears to the 2016-2017 season. But what does the 2016-2017 season look like?  Well we need to figure that out.  So we have two meetings coming up that we encourage as many students, parents, volunteers, school administrators and community members to attend so that we get as much input as possible.

  • Agenda items for May 7th
    • 2016 recap / lessons learned
    • 2017 goals
    • May plan
    • Federal lobbying
    • Banquet
    • Seniors
  • Agenda items for the 21st
    • 2016 summer plans
      • starting teams
        • FTC
        • FLL
    • 2016 fall plans
      • Off seasons
        • Battle O’Baltimore – Sept ?? 2016, Baltimore, MD.
        • Girl power – Oct ?? 2016, Flourtown, PA.
        • Rumble in the roads – Nov 5 2016, Newport News, VA
      • training
      • fund raising
    • 2017 spring plans
    • picking team leaders
    • picking drive team
    • lab cleanup
    • Communication tools
  • Lab Cleanup May 23rd, 25th and 27th

 

Event with the week off, a few of us just couldn’t stop thinking about robots.  Check out these cool little lego variants of Maelstrom we made. What have you been up to?

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World championship 2016: Curie Division

Team 1389 had its most successful season ever. The team played 57 matches, made it to quarter finals once, made it to semi finals twice, won two awards and made our most complex robot ever.  This season will be one for the record books.  We can’t thank all of the people who helped make this trip and this season possible enough.  Your inspiration perspiration and treasure helped make this season possible. Thank you.

The World Championships were amazing. We were able to learn a lot about robots, running teams, making pits, vision, how to not make a climber and playing on the world stage. We also had some great bar-b-q and went up in the St Louis Arch. And best of all we made a lot of new friends.  We talked to  mentors and students from across the US and around the world.  A special thanks goes out to 1511, 836 and 2636 for helping us figure out some of our technical challenges.

We also got to know some teams on a more personal level by spending over 30 hours on a bus with them. Team 1712 and 4242 were fantastic bus mates and could not have been more amazing people.

 

 

Here are some of the videos from the weekend