Club’s Night 2017

Last Tuesday Maelstrom was out an about at the Walt Whitman Club’s night showing off a bit. And lucky for us, the crazy ball singer caught the attention of over 70 students.  On top of that we talked with other clubs about partnering on some special events or projects.  We can’t wait to see what amazing things come out of this year’s club’s night.

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2016 Tech Lecture Schedule

This fall is our team’s preseason, and as such the team will be busy practicing and learning to get ready for build season.  Much like playing sports, you don’t win the game when you step in the ice or field, you win the game in the months and days leading up to the game with your practice and preparation.  Robotics is no different, the fall is when we need to do as much learning and gain as much experience as possible so that in the spring, all we do is act.  Lats year the team started doing tech lectures to help get students up to speed on many of the critical aspects of running an FRC robotics teams.  This year we will be expanding our tech lectured so as to cover more topics and to help take our abilities to the next level.

Walt Whitman students, as well as students from other teams are encouraged to attend as many of the lectures as possible.  The more you know about every aspect of the robot and team, the more efficient the you and the team can be overall. Plus, their is always something new to learn.  All lectures will take place at Walt Whitman High School. If you are not a team Walt Whitman student please contact us at if you are interested in attending.

We will create and update online material in preparation for each talk, so please check the web page for updates that could help you get smarter, better and faster.


BAA Education Day 2016

Last year the team attended BAA education day and learned a lot.  We plan on taking all or new team members again this year.  Its a chance for students to get a lot of knowledge about FRC robots very quickly.  If you are a new to robotics, we highly recomend attending.


Any student, mentor, parent or supporter of the FIRST Robotics Competition in Maryland and DC. There are sessions targeting both rookies and veterans.


  • A $5 fee is requested from ALL attendees.
  • The $5 per person fee will be collected at the door, but advance registration of all attendees is required. You will be expected to pay for the number of people you register even if they don’t show up on Oct. 29.
  • Registration, including lunch will close at 5pm on Tues. Oct. 18, 2016.
  • Some sessions will have limited seats and will require a pre-registration. You will receive instructions on how to sign up for these seats after you register.


  • A BBQ lunch from Famous Dave’s (pork, brisket, chicken, sides and water). A vegetarian option will be offered. Lunch is included in the registration fee.
  • There will be no extra lunch tickets sold at the door; participants MUST register online in order to be included in the lunch order.
  • Teams are welcome to bring their own food if they think they will need more to eat.


  • Detailed agenda will be sent to registered participants.


Yourself, your $5, a notebook and lots of questions !


Sat, October 29, 2016

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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Glenelg High School

14025 Burntwoods Road

Glenelg, MD

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Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email Kathy at :

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Yes, you can email Kathy with your name and who will be attending in your place.

Can I attend for just part of the day ? 

Yes, if you cannot attend the entire day, come when you can and attend those sessions most of value to you Please register though so that we can ensure we don’t overcrowd the school.

Can I bring my own lunch ? 

Yes of course and any snacks you need through the day. We will still request the $5 payment to cover the costs of meals for the volunteers and presenters.

Do I have to register with my team or can I register individually?

Either is fine, just make sure you are not registered twice.

We Want To Build an Advanced Fabrication Training Facility for MCPS

Over the past decade MCPS like other school districts across the US has been dismantling shop rooms as schools focus more on testing and college prep.  However, the need to for experienced advanced fabricators is growing.  Communities across the US are starting to feel the impact of this skills gap and are working with private industry to create a pipeline of people with the knowledge they need to make things.  Just today, GE purchased two of the world’s leading metal additive manufacturing companies and announced thei need to grow domestic manufacturing capacity.   (both of these companies were in Europe)  It is for this reason the Walt Whitman Robotics team plans to upgrade the Walt Whitman High School  shop room with new equipment. and start and advanced fabrication program.  The goal will be to teach 50+ kids a year how to do CAD design,  CAM design, additive manufacturing, circuit board printing, advanced CNC manufacturing and how to use a variety of industrial lasers.  This will be open to students at every level and STEM sports teams across the county.

The program will do much more than showing kids how to use a vinyl cutter.  We want to teach students that their ideas can be transformed into marketable commodities. One example from similar program in California;

 “They designed really cool ornaments for the holidays and we sold more than a thousand dollars’ worth of stuff. We just put together a coaster set for a local microbrewery. We’ve got a tremendous community of artistic people and small businesses that I’m sure would be willing to do what the brewery did. The kids have to go to the business and make the pitch and figure out what the cost would be by doing an analysis of material and time and all the other costs. I’m talking with a finance teacher we have to set this up as a business class on student enterprise, with real outcomes.”

We are going to be looking for community donated materials, equipment, cash, and expertise to get this program off the ground.  If you are interested in helping build the next generation, please reach out, we can use all the help we can get.

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



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???

Off Season events 2016

We have signed up for three off season events this fall.

  • Battle O’Baltimore – Sept 24th 2016
    • All team members can participate fully
  • Girl Power – October 8th 2016
    • Female team members can participate fully
    • Male team members can support from the stands
  • Rumble in the Roads – November 5th 2016
    • All team members can participate fully

Frequently Asked question

  1. What is an off season event?  Off Season Events are competitions run by teams outside the FRC Competitions Season.
  2. Why should I attend an off season event? To practice your skills, to try something new, to see what FRC is all about.
  3. Who should attend an off season event?  Everyone, especially students who want to drive the robot this season.  Anyone who wants to drive this season has to have driven at an off season event.
  4. What happens at an off season event?  Its a real competition that is smaller than a district and takes up one day.  Teams compete to win the event and the awards.
  5. What game will we be playing? We will be playing the 2016 FRC game stronghold.

If you are planning on attending, please fill in this survey

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???


Last Week Our Students Were in India

Three of our graduating seniors were in India last week  to do a robotics demo and discuss how we could help the school start an FLL or FTC team.  Floris, Jacob, and Yash went to Yash’s old school in Bhopal to talk about FIRST, and how it had impacted their educational experience.  The Billabong High International School students seemed to be very keen on the idea of starting an FLL or FTC team at their school.  And our graduates had a lot of fun presenting, answering questions and making a lot of students excited about robotics.  This is just the first chapter in this story, more to come….


Here are some photos from the experience.

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