There is an Education Workshow This Weekend

Every year the Washington Chinese Daily News and McDonald’s team up to co-sponsor an Education Workshop to better prepare students for college and success.   This year they are focusing on Robotics and have invited several of the Montgomery County Robotics programs to participate.  The Walt Whitman Robotics Team will be doing some community outreach and demonstrations and inviting anyone who want to learn more about STEM sports to stop by.

Sunday at 10 AM – 4 PM at R ichard Montgomery High School
250 Richard Montgomery Dr, Rockville, Maryland 20852

You can find more event details here https://www.facebook.com/events/1102757229770012/

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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 Admin@team1389.com 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.

WHO IS INVITED:

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

REGISTRATION:

  • 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.

FOOD:

  • 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.

AGENDA:

  • Detailed agenda will be sent to registered participants.

WHAT TO BRING:

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

DATE & TIME:

Sat, October 29, 2016

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Add to Calendar

LOCATION:

Glenelg High School

14025 Burntwoods Road

Glenelg, MD

View Map

 

 

 

FAQs

 

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email Kathy at : kathylauk@gmail.com

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.

Kid Museum Outreach Last Weekend

Students from Blair High School joined us at the Kid Museum last weekend to help grow awareness for robotics in the county.  Not only did we find some future Bethesda robot builders in the crowd, but we helped some New Yorkers learn about robotics as well.   Our students also inspired some amazing VexIQ creations that two of our students will spends the next few weeks teaching Kid Museum visitors how to program.

Students from both Blair and Walt Whitman went through a presentation and then we turned on the Indiana Robotics Invitational so that everyone could watch some real matches being played.   Thanks to the Kid Museum for giving the opportunity and good luck this year with your brand new FLL team.

Check out some of the pictures and videos from the event.

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Robotics Day at the Kid Museum

Walt Whitman will join 3 other FRC teams from the area and help the local Kid’s Museum host their first Robotics Day. Stop by with your kids, your neighbors kids and your inner kid to check us out. We will have several team members on hand as well as our World Championship  Level robot Maelstrom available for you to drive.

Saturday, July 16

From the nuts & bolts of how robots move, to testing out competition robots…it’s everything robots at KID’s first ever Robotics Day!

Open Explore
Stop in throughout the day to experiment with gears, parts and pulleys; take part in “Imagining the Robots of the Future;” and learn about different machines and systems, like VEX, LittleBits, and Arduino.

Featured Workshops
LEGO WeDo: Move and manipulate objects with this robotics tool. Design your own interactive machine using gears, motors, motion sensors, and more. Ages 8+. $6 members; $7 nonmembers. 11:00 REGISTER

MakerWear: Customize clothing with lights and sounds that react to your movements, and be a part of the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab MakerWear prototyping project. Ages 6+. $3 members; $4 nonmembers. 1:30 REGISTER

Demos
See amazing demos by local high school FRC robotics teams:

Team 1389 
Walt Whitman High School
Bethesda, MD

Team 449
Blair High School
Silver Spring, MD

Building a master list of all of the robotics teams / programs in MD

Walt Whitman is working on building a list of all of the robotics teams / programs in Maryland.  We are trying build this list so as to enable student impact conversations with county and state officials for upcoming advocacy efforts.   This list is not limited to FIRST teams, so if you have VEX, VEX IQ, MATE, seaperch.  We are also including programs that do not have teams at schools, not at schools, at summer camps, at private schools and in after school programs.  So….If you are doing anything with robotics in MD we want to know about it.  Please email admin@team1389.com us with your details and we will get it added to our list.  Or add your details on your own https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1czZaIZITx4FWI91Oz293wZ8LLEoqV6G1GaOSPeqy_mA/edit?usp=sharing

If you are interested in getting involved in our upcoming advocacy effort please reach out to us via email admin@team1389.com. The more folks we get involved, the more of an impact we will have.

 

Walt Whitman Attending the 2016 National Advocacy Conference

A week ago the team got together at the 2016 National Advocacy conference.  The team received training on several topics, practiced our pitches and networked with teams from across the county.  This is the second year the team has attended the conference and had two students get real world experience working with Maryland’s federal delegation.

We partnered with students from team 1629 and 1111 to meet with Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Sen. Benjamin Cardin to discuss FIRST Robotics, education (ESSA and Title IV Part B in particular), and the expansion of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs.  All of the folks representing Maryland were receptive to this message, however the informed us that getting the full 1.65 billion appropriation would be tough.  Here are some specifics on the ask;

  • The newly enacted bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes a flexible block grant program under Title IV Part A, which is authorized at $1.65 billion in FY 2017. Title IV, Part A authorizes activities in three broad areas:
  • Well-rounded education including programs in STEM
  • Safe and healthy students/schools
  • Technology (professional development, blended learning, and devices
    • Districts can use Title IV Part A grants to provide students with a well-rounded education and improve instruction and student engagement in STEM by:
    • Expanding high-quality STEM courses;
      • Increasing access to STEM for underserved and at risk student populations;
      • Supporting the participation of students in STEM nonprofit competitions (such as robotics, science research, invention, mathematics, computer science, and technology competitions);
      • Providing hands-on learning opportunities in STEM;
      • Integrating other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM subject programs;
      • Creating or enhancing STEM specialty schools;
      • Integrating classroom based and afterschool and informal STEM instruction; and
      • Expanding environmental education.
    • The Title IV Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichments Grants combines (and eliminates) several targeted programs under No Child Left Behind, including the Math and Science Partnership Grants. The Math and Science Partnership grants, which received $152.7M in FY2016, was the largest single program at the Department devoted exclusively to STEM.
    • The President’s FY 2017 budget proposal would provide $500 million for the Title IV A flexible block grant, less than one-third of the authorized $1.65 billion level. of the three listed priorities, or specific activities within one of the priorities.
    • Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill in early June to appropriate $300M for Title IV A.
  • Fully fund ESSA Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enhancement Grants at the authorized level of $1.65 billion through regular appropriation bills or through the CR process.

If you would like to learn more about the National Advocacy Conference please check out these materials.

After hitting the hill the team and out 2016 robot Maelstrom relaxed and met with staffers in a more informal setting. As bonus we were lucky enough to meet and talk with Dean Kamen, Senetor Franken from Minnesota and a few other folks that are making big waves on Capital Hill.

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Maryland Joins a Short List of States Who Fund Robotics K-12 Programs

Over the past several months, FRC and FTC teams from across Maryland have been working with state level law makers to Establishment of Robotics Grants Program.  Last week, Karen Salmon from the Maryland State Deputy Superintendent of Education informed us that the Robotics Grant Program is a go and that it will be funded to the tune of $250,000 starting July 1st 2017.  The details about how team can access the funds are are going to be worked out over the next year and team’s will be able to apply for the funds starting next summer.  Thanks for all of the hardwork Delegates Reznik, Barkley, Barve, Brooks, Ebersole, Glenn, Jalisi, Kipke, Lam, McKay, Pena–Melnyk, and K. Young on the Maryland House side as well as the Nancy King on the Maryland Senate Side.  The bill calls for the creation of a grants program through the Department of Education to provide much needed financial assistance to robotics programming throughout the state.  The full text of each bill can be found here HB 115 and SB 582.

Next up, Getting the State of Maryland to declare Robotics a sport so that robotics teams across the state can get access to the funding and administrative support they need to take their game to the next level.

 

2016-2017 Team Plan

The team had a meeting a few weeks back where discussed how we would make our 2016 2017 goals a reality. One of the first things we did was modify our goals a bit after thinking about them for two weeks.

  • 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
  • Prepare more underclassman for leadership positions

 

We made the change to make the goal more measurable. We also focused our efforts for next season on the following;

  • Win the EI award
  • Spend more time prototyping for every aspect of the robot
  • Build two robots
  • Raise $20,000
    • $5,000 for District Championships
    • $10,000 for World Championships
    • $5,000 for second robot
  • Host a district event
    • Raise $10,000 on behalf of the event

 

To make the above happened the team talked about what we were going to do with the last month of school.

  • Repair Drivetrains
  • Tune up robots
  • Do outreach to local fabrication companies
  • Cleanup Lab

 

The team then talked about what we would be doing over the summer with the limited amount student who are available to make the goals real

  • Schedule a Drive Day at the STEMAction center in Columbia – Joey
  • Schedule a Pyle Drive Day – Jonah, Joey
  • Define CAD Projects – Joey, JJ
    • CAD project 1 – CAD the 2016 robot in solid works by the end of July
    • CAD 3 drive trains in full detail and include all electrical systems, wire routing and mechanical systems by the end of August
      • West coast inline drop 6 with 4” solid wheels
      • Swerve
      • H-drive
    • Complete a Vision Project
      • Identify and track 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 targets
    • Fund raise $6,000
    • Secure a Sheet metal fabrication sponsor
    • Lay the ground work to start 1 FTC team and 2 FLL teams
      • FTC at Pyle
      • FLL at Davis Library and Wyngate Elementary School
    • Repair current robots
      • Liftzilla – encoder controlled lifter, ecoder controlled drive, build bumpers
      • Maelstrom – functioning turret, vision code, autonomous modes, rewire, add climber
    • Do advocacy work at the Federal, State and county level
    • 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

 

The team also laid out the plan for the Fall

  • Attend 3 off seasons
  • Create a 2016-2017 budget
    • Measure spending according to the budget
    • Create a part purchasing process that is tied to the budget
  • Increase the number of talks
  • Incorporate VEX robots into fall projects
    • Purchase 2-3 vex kits, $2,000 per kit
    • Host robot build off for underclassmen
  • Host Java training for MoCo teams
  • Host CAD training for MoCo teams
    • Create CAD projects due in Dec 2016
  • Host Safety training in Sept so students can use tools early
  • Start Awards in the fall
    • Finish drafts by December
  • Sign up 100 students at Clubs night
  • Track and measure freshman retention
  • Setup an Agile work board for defining and distributing tasks
    • 2 people’s names need to be on each ticket that is in work
  • Assign each new member an experienced buddy member
  • Raise $20,000 for build season
  • Recruit 2 more mentors
    • Electrical
    • Programming
  • Mentor FLL and FTC teams
  • Plan a district event

 

Here are the raw notes from the meeting

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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!