Sub Team Leads for the 2016-2017 Season

The team has made a changes to our leadership structure in the last few weeks.  We have rethought how we are going to organize our fabrication team, pulling away from designated sections to teams that can be more easily moved around.  We have also selected several of our sub team leads.

Lead Sub Lead Protege
Fundraising & Media Sub Team Claire Cameron  Vacant
Awards & Documentation Sub Team Grace  Vacant  Vacant
Integration Sub Team Joey  Vacant  Vacant
Fab Team 1 Theo  Vacant  Vacant
Fab Team 2 Jonah  Vacant  Vacant
Fab Team 3  Vacant  Vacant  Vacant
Controls & Electrical Sub Team Micaela Lauren  Vacant
Software Sub Team Ari Rory  Vacant


STEAMWORKS is the 2017 FRC Game!!

Here we go. The 2016 2017 FRC season them has been announced. The Name of the Game is STEAMWORKS. Check out the Game Teaser below.

Grab your goggles and start a team today!

Be part of the more than 3,400 teams in 2017 comprised of 85,000 students and their adult Mentors from around the world who will prepare to take flight in FIRST® STEAMWORKSSM.

FIRST® Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind,TM where imagination and innovation come together! By combining the excitement of sport and beauty of art with the rigors of science and technology, teams of high school students (ages 14 – 18/grades 9 – 12) are challenged to design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform tasks against a field of competitors.

Teams work together and build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult Mentors. Teams then compete with their robots as family and friends cheer from the stands at more than 140 events worldwide – all leading up to the 2017 FIRST® Championships April 19 – 22 in Houston, TX and April 26 – 29 in St. Louis, MO.

The hardest fun you’ll ever have has its rewards!

Participating FIRST Robotics Competition students are eligible to apply for more than $30 million in scholarships from nearly 200 colleges and universities.

FREE exclusive FIRST® STEAMWORKSSM Downloadable Content (DLC) including:

Wallpapers | Ringtones | Game Logos | Team Recruitment Posters



More downloads coming this fall! Check your team blasts, the FIRST® Robotics Competition Blog and Facebook for more information and upcoming releases!


Team 1389 Leadership for the 2016 – 17 Season Has Been Selected

This year we are excited to announce the Leadership team team that will take the helm of The Body Electric FRC team.  These 4 students and 3 mentors have a combined robot building experience of 13+ and 19+ years respectively. Please join us in congratulating them on earning this position.

  • Students
    • Grace
    • Joey
    • Ari
    • Micaela
  • Mentors
    • JJ Biel-Goebel
    • Farish Perlman
    • Dan Chen


The leadership team will be meeting for the first time this week to work on the following

  • Leadership Roles and Responsibilities
  • Communication medium and consistency
  • Quorum and Decision making
  • Sub team leads

We are still looking to fill all of the Sub Lead roles.  So please, if you are interested in taking on any of the above sub lead positions please fill in this form today



Have you signed up for off seasons? If you are planning on attending, please fill in this survey

To Bag or Not To Bag…..That is the Question

Greetings from FIRST

The FIRST Robotics Competition is looking for feedback about Stop Build Day. Stop Build Day is the day when Teams are expected to Bag and Tag their robot- putting the robot they will be using at the competition in a bag, not to be worked on again until the competition event (with the exception of a few hours for District Teams).  If you want to learn more about all of the various aspects concerning bag day check out this chief delphi post

We are eager to hear your thoughts and feedback and would greatly appreciate it if you could give about 10 minutes of your time to fill out this survey.

Please click on the following link to access the survey (or copy and paste the link in your web browser)

Please forward this message to any Mentors and Student Team Members over the age of 13 on your Team. This is a very important survey about a core element of FIRST Robotics Competition, and we want to get as many participants as we can.

Your opinions are valuable to us! Thank you for taking the time to participate in this survey. The survey will close on Monday, September 26th at 5pm ET.

If you have any questions regarding this survey, you may contact


Looking for a few good mentors

Are you a maker or a doer living near Bethesda Maryland.  We need people that have knowledge in the following;

  • Java and or C++ coding
  • Computer vision
  • Control system design
  • Location systems design
  • Pneumatic systems
  • Web design
  • Tech writing
  • Graphics design
  • Fund raising
  • Video production
  • Animation
  • Journalism
  • Public relations

If you are interested or know someone who could, please email us at



What is a FIRST Mentor?

Walt Whitman Robotics Club mentors work with students from Walt Whitman high schools The mission of the mentoring program is to help develop the skills students need to make good life choices and to succeed personally and professionally through a program that both provides practical guidance on preparing for college and that develops strong, long term relationships and bonds of trust with mentors.


Why Mentor?

In this Video Participants from the Million Women Mentors Program talks about how a influential a STEM mentored activity can be for students.


How does mentoring make a difference?

As a Walt Whitman Robotics Club mentor, you’ll have the unique opportunity to positively influence the lives of students through personal growth, interpersonal development, and community involvement.


Click here to see the amazing people that have already signed up to make the next generation of students a little smarter

If you are interested or know someone who could, please email us at



2017 District Schedule, We are Hosting Again

We are once again hosting an FRC district event during the 2017 FRC season. Wooo Hooo!!!  This will be the second year that the team hosts the event and we are really looking forward to it.  However, the organization that ran the events last year in Maryland is now defunct and responsibilities have been transferred over to Chesapeake FIRST.  With this shift comes a new way of managing events that will require more work form the host teams.  To help keep this burden as low as possible we are going to try and share responsibility for planning the event with Team 1111 who is hosting a week 4 event.  More on this to come.

  • Week 1
    • Mar 3-5, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Northern Virginia Event (Battlefield High
      School, Haymarket, VA)
    • Mar 3-5, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Southwest Virginia Event (Blacksburg High
      School, Blacksburg, VA)
  • Week 2
    • Mar 10-12, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Greater DC Event (Walt Whitman High
      School, Bethesda, MD)

      • We will be hosting and attending this event
  • Week 3
    • Mar 17-19, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Northern Maryland Event (The McDonogh
      School, Owings Mill, MD)
    • Mar 17-19, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Hampton Roads Event (Churchland High
      School, Portsmouth, VA)
  • Week 4
    • Mar 24-26, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Central Maryland Event (South River
      High School, Edgewater, MD)

      • We plan on attending this event
    • March TBD FIRST Chesapeake District Central Virginia Event
  • Week 6
    • Apr 5-8, 2017 FIRST Chesapeake District Championship (VCU Siegel Center, Richmond,

      • We plan on attending this event
      • We will need to qualify for this event
  • Week 8
    • Apr 24-29, 2017 FIRST World Championship (St Louis Conference Center, St Louis,

      • We plan on attending this event
      • We will need to qualify for this event

Please mark your calendars now, so that you can be sure nothing interferes with these events.

Have you filled in your paper work yet???


Tool Training 2016

tool safety

The mentors and volunteers of the Walt Whitman Robotics Club are dedicated foremost to offer practical applications of academic skills, and to encourage an appreciation for math, science and technology. Through cooperation with our students, we hope to inspire them to achieve high levels of excellence in education and in life. As a club we will strive to maintain the safest learning experience and environment possible. With this said, students at various levels will be exposed to power tools and other mechanisms that do have the potential to injure. For this reason the club has a set safety policy that will be followed at all times.

  • Club members will act in a safe manner AT ALL TIMES. This includes during any club-related activity, traveling to club events, and during competitions.
  • Club members will be respectful of the Safety Captain(s) and adhere to any requests made by the Safety Captain(s).
  • Club members will be expected to complete training on the use of specific tools and equipment before using them. Power tools or equipment may only be used under the supervision of an adult mentor.
  • Club members will be expected to wear safety glasses at work sites and in the pit area at all competitions. In addition, club members may be asked to wear gloves, masks, and ear protection during certain tasks.
  • Horseplay will not be tolerated at any time in the work areas.
  • All work areas will be cleaned up at the end of every day including sweeping the floors and work surfaces, putting away tools and materials, and throwing away trash.
  • Club members will not directly or indirectly give out personal information about themselves or other team members while using club communication tools such as a forum.

The team uses the following powered tools. You must watch the safety videos and be ready to pass a written and practical test before using any tools in the lab.

Please check the Calendar for up coming tool training sessions.

Have you filled in your paper work yet???


Calling all Leaders

The 2016-2017 robotics pre-season is about to start (check out the schedule here) and we are in need a few good leaders.  We are going to have 2 levels of leadership on the team this year.

  1. Leadership Team
  2. Sub Team Leaders
    1. Lead
    2. Co-Lead

The leadership team will be responsible or the overall team.  The sub team Leads and Co-Leads will work together to manage all of the activities of their sub team.  The sub teams include;

  • Fundraising & Media Sub Team
  • Awards & Documentation Sub Team
  • Integration Sub Team
  • Manipulation Sub Team
  • End Effector Sub Team
  • Controls & Electrical Sub Team
  • Software Sub Team

You can learn more about each of the above positions here


If you are interested in taking on any of the above leadership positions please fill in this form before the 9th

Welcome back Robotics Families!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer and I cannot believe that the
start of school is only days away..

Robotics is going to get started and there are many events that the team
has coming up, before build season begins.

There will be more information to come, but for now, please find the
attached paperwork that must be completed before any student can
participate with the team (this includes working in the lab or being able
to attend events).

The attachments include;

welcome letter
member sign-up form
student/parent contract
medical liability waiver
emergency medical card

All forms must be returned *no later* than Friday, September 9th (details
are in the attached welcome letter).

If you have any questions, please let me know.

There will be another email forthcoming with opportunities for

We look forward to a great year!


Farish Perlman
Team 1389
Team Coordinator

Time to Register for Robotics

Are you going to be on the Walt Whitman Robotics team starting Fall 2016?  If you are, please start your registration now.   To register, go to and log in or register a new account and then sign up for FRC team 1389.

FIRST has opened up student registration early this year and we are encouraging students / parents to take advantage of this opportunity to avoid some paperwork in the fall.   This is open to all returning and new students.

Kickoff is

Days Hours Minutes Seconds Milliseconds
182 20 31 40 500