Central Maryland District Event 2017

After 14 years, team 1389 has finally won an event!!!

The team was prepared for this event. The robot was tweaked. The awards team was on top of their game and the drivers had tasted the finals and were ready to try and get that blue banner.  But, the weekend started off a bit rocky.  The robot was not performing up to snuff for the first 3 matches.  But, the team rebounded and started to get the some wins.  And these wins were sweeter than those two weeks earlier because we were doing the caring.  The team went from 3 gears per match to 5 gears per match.  But then we started to trip on Sunday morning. What should have been 3 big wins turned out to be 2 wins and a loss, putting us in 13th place at the end of qualifications.

We knew we were going to be in eliminations since we were the only robot with a consistent gear pickup at the event.  And sure enough, we were picked up by the 5th seed alliance as their 1st pick.  First we knocked out the 4th seed, then the 8th seed and wow….we were in the finals again before we knew it.  On top of that, we had figured out how to score fuel for the first time, so now we were doing 4 gears, 1 KPA and a climb.  And that is exactly what we did for two big wins in the finals.  The team had finally won an event for the first time in its history.

Thanks to 1111 and all of the volunteers for making this weekend happen.  And congrats to all of the award winners;

Award Winner
District Chairman’s Award 2537
District Engineering Inspiration Award 5243
Rookie All Star Award 6326
District Event Winner 5115
District Event Winner 1389
District Event Winner 2534
District Event Finalist 449
District Event Finalist 2421
District Event Finalist 6239
Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox 4541
Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers 1389
Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi 3650
Gracious Professionalism Award sponsored by Johnson & Johnson 686
Highest Rookie Seed 6326
Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen 2377
Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors 4505
Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation 1123
Judges’ Award 1915
Quality Award sponsored by Motorola Solutions Foundation 619
Rookie Inspiration Award sponsored by National Instruments 6504
Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories 6239
Team Spirit Award sponsored by FCA Foundation 6239

Here are some match videos from the weekend

Build Week 4 2017 is in the History Books

What a week. awards, robots, planning for districts, designing t-shirts, testing final designs, finishing cad, assembling the drive train and more all happened this week.  On top of that we picked up nearly 8 new team members which brings us up to 54 students, making this the largest team we have ever had.

Let go by sub team

Awards – the awards team is putting the finishing touches on all of our awards.  we have awards due on Feb 9th and Feb 16th.  We also have a chairman’s video and a tech journal du by our first competition.

Planning for districts – we have a the pit map nearly worked out and are almost finished planning food. we are going to need a lot of help at our event being held at Walt Whitman High School on March 10-12.

Designing t-shirts – we are nearly done with our t-shirt design for the year.  Last chance for sponsors to get on the t-shirt is Feb 12.

Testing final designs – the team spent the first part of the week nailing down the geometry for the major robot components.  We are going into his season with a much better understanding of how different designs interact with the game pieces.

Finished CAD – now that our final testing is done we were able to complete our CAD. We should have something to release in the next few days.

Driver practice – drive practice continues for the 3rd strait week.  But tis was by far the coldest driver practice yet.  Since we set up outside things can get a little chillie.  Driver practice this week could have gone better though, we were plagues by breakages of all 3 working drive trains.

Drive train – the drive train is fully assembled and functioning.  We even used it for driver practice this week.  We were able to identify a few problems with the design and spent some time on Saturday getting the issues fixed.

Pneumatics – As part of this year’s drive train we have had to re learn pneumatic since we have not used them in the last few years.  We found a few leaks and learned how the pneumatics system as a whole worked.  Our system is now leak free and functioning correctly with 4 actuators.  This week we add 4 more.

Electrical – we now have our electrical board designed and mocked up.  We are putting the finishing touches on the CAD and will be getting that cut this week.  This will be the first time we have had a CNC electrical board and accounted for all of the wire runs and tubing runs.

Fabrication – We are up an running on one CNC machine this week and will soon have a second CNC running to do larger pieces. By this time next year the team will be able to make nearly all of our own parts as custom as we can design them.  This is a big step forward for us and should result in lighter more efficient robots going forward.  Also, our bumpers are nearly done.

The Robot – We are only a few days behind our schedule, but tis year’s schedule is aggressive.  We want to be completely done with the primary and secondary goals by the end of week 5 so we can work on our tertiary goals during week 6 while the code and drive team work out all of the kinks.

Scouting – our lead scout has joined the drive team this year, but that has not stopped him from putting together the stats on who we will be seeing at our week 2 event.

Coding – the team has been working on the driver station UI, octocanum code, manipulator code, vision code and Ohm (our initial build).  We have instituted code reviews and organized code merges.  This is has been helping ensure our code team that is 8 members strong aren’t wasting each others time.

Safety – we had some serious safety issue this week so we had a complete stand down and made everyone go back through tool safety training.  This was the closest we have ever been to a serious injury and definitely help put safety into perspective.  We may have lost a few hours of build season, but the time spent making sure we have a safety culture is worth it.



We Now Have A Booster Club

Some of our current and past parents have gotten together with Walt Whitman High School and started a Booster Club. Team 1389 Whitman Robotics Boosters, Inc. will be a non-profit entity that will help the team with fundraising, organizing and long term planning.  This is great news for the team on the fundraising front as this will open doors to the team to be able to apply for grants that it has historically not been able to apply for and target businesses that support non-profits.

As we have, the team will remain as a club at Whitman, this will not have any impact on our status as a club at the school.  The team will continue to act as it always has, this is only a change in the business operation to maximize our fundraising potential.

We will be submitting our 501C3 paperwork in the coming weeks and will work hard over the next 5 years to earn our accreditation from the IRS.  In that time we will be able to everything a 501C3 does.


The board consists of

Farish Perlman, team coordinator – Board President

JJ Biel -Goebel , lead mentor – Board Vice President

William Prinz, parent of Team 1389 alum – Treasurer

Elizabeth Williams, parent of current Team 1389 student – Secretary

Dan Chen, Walt Whitman teacher – member

Alan Goodwin, Walt Whitman principal – Ex-offico

Elizabeth Hillard, Walt Whitman Business Administrator – Ex-offico


Team 1389 and the new Board look forward to continued growth of the team.

If you have some time and want to help out we would love to hear from you.

Please Pick up the Phone and Help Robotics in Maryland

FIRST in Maryland Friends we need your help! See Delegate Kirill Reznik‘s message below. Call your Senators, Delegates, and the Governor to let them know how important state funding for robotics programs is in helping our children prepare for high skill and high paying jobs in Maryland! lease call his office at 410-974-3901.

From Reznik’s office on the Maryland Robotics Education bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support
Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, yesterday Governor Hogan announced that this year’s proposed state budget will fully fund all mandated programs, cut virtually nothing, raise no taxes, and come in under last year’s budget in real dollars.
Unfortunately, this miracle budget uses a number of budgetary gimmicks to reach that goal and uses a separate piece of legislation to eliminate a number of funding mandates. Though I have not seen the full budget yet, I have been told that the bill we fought so hard to get last year to provide for a grants program to the robotics programs throughout the State was included as part of his cuts.
Given the enormous power that the Maryland Governor has over the State budget by Constitutional authority I don’t know if we will be able to restore it. I will try my best, but I need your help. Please call your Senators and Delegates, and also please call the Governor’s office (governor.maryland.gov) and tell them how important this funding is to our children and their future. Let them know that in order to create high skill, high paying jobs in the State, we need to invest in STEM education, and not cut those crucial programs.
I hope that by the time this session is over I will be able to report to you that we have restored this program.


Delegate Kirill Reznik

Contact the Governor’s Office

Whether you’re a citizen of Maryland or just visiting our great state, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

  • Mail:
    100 State Circle
    Annapolis, Maryland
  • Phone:
    MD Relay 1-800-735-2258

Thanks for taking the time to contact the Governor’s Office of Maryland.

Governor Larry Hogan

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


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 https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4COdtPY9TNGsoRDDYTh45xmsxEhMEmteotJSdgxnZMZUFEQ/viewform



Have you signed up for off seasons? If you are planning on attending, please fill in this survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdSCPoX8U0N572c7dUnkYGVMbDs1CmtGU722KN_uoU0fL6xSQ/viewform


Have you turned it in?

Have you signed up for leadership?

Have you signed up for off seasons?

Paperwork is due this week

Paper work

Paperwork is due Friday September 9th for returning students and students who want to attend the Battle O’Baltimore in two weekends.

Paper work is due Friday October 2nd for all remaining students.

If you have issues with getting your paperwork in please send a message to admin@team1389.com

Want to learn more about what we are going to be doing this season, check out this video

RoboLeague from Digital Kitchen on Vimeo.


If you are interested in taking on any leadership positions please fill in this form before the 9th https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd4COdtPY9TNGsoRDDYTh45xmsxEhMEmteotJSdgxnZMZUFEQ/viewform

The Calendar is Updated


We have created a team calendar that has all of the team meetings, competitions and other events. We will be adding the volunteer assignments, locations, and event details to the calendar over the next week so that all of our team mates will only have one place to go for information.



Other parts of our website are currently being updated and will be a good source of information for the whole 1389 family.


Have you filled in your paper work yet???

New Way to Manage Work this Year

This year we are going to try using a kanban board to manage all of the tasks.  We are going to combine this with a color coded postit for each sub team.

You can learn more about Kanban here

We are going to practice using the kanban this fall as we get ready for the season.  The hope is that we figure out our own flavor of kanban so that every student who walks in the lab knows what they can work on and who they can talk to if they have questions about the tasks.


Have you filled in your paper work yet???