It’s been such a whirlwind summer, we’ve only been able to tell you where we going and haven’t had time to follow up to tell you how it went! So here’s a digest update of the Adventures of Team Duct Tape since the FIRST World Championship in April:
Orlando Mini Maker Faire – May 26 – We had a wonderful time at Orlando’s first ever Mini Maker Faire, driving around our fresh-from-the-Championship robot, and inviting others to drive it, running some duct tape crafts and simple engineering projects at our booth, and sharing FIRST with visitors. We enjoyed sharing the day with a few other FIRST teams, and wowing crowds with sky high scissor lift which, just a few weeks out from St. Louis, continued to operate beautifully!
Gates High School – May 30 – TDT checked in with Gates High School students on the last week of school, to share FIRST with students there, in an effort led by one our new team members, Mark, who attends the school.
Planet PTC Live 2012 – June 5 – TDT joined Team 5454 and 5656 to showcase FIRST Tech Challenge at the Planet PTC Live conference in Orlando. They even got a little screen time when interviewed about what the team members liked best about being on a FIRST team. (Click the photo at left to find out!)
coolTech 2012 – June 21 – Team Duct Tape members hung out at coolTech 2012 with FTC Team Brick Buddies and some — cool tech! — to showcase FIRST to the high tech community in the Tampa Bay area. Brick Buddies won the People’s Choice award for the most popular exhibit. Way to go Brick Buddies!
Red Bull Creation 2012 Challenge – July 19-22 – In an unexpected but fun turn of events, Learning is for Everyone’s LI4E Makerspace Project team, comprised almost entirely of Team Duct Tape members, made it into the Red Bull Creation 2012 finals on the strength of what Wired magazine called our “overzealous alarm clock“, a goofy little qualifying build entry that moved the LI4E Makerspace team into the top 12 national competitors. Joined by JR Weis, long time member, and now grad mentor of Lyman Robotics, TDT member current and grad joined in a whirlwind 72 hour build at long time TDT friend, mentor and benefactor, Paul Markun’s Tampa Technik shop in St. Petersburg.
Besides being enormous, if somewhat hectic, fun, the contest provided a great venue for some national PR for FIRST Tech Challenge and gave students and mentors a terrific opportunity to exercise teamwork and ply their creative engineering skills in a completely different way, and as always, learned a lot in the process.
Challenged to build a physical game within a small set of parameters, TDT members came up with the Spin Master, a rotating marble game. We didn’t make it into the final four, which earned spots at the NY World Makers Faire in September, but we did get some cool bling from playing, including a “Bullduino” (an arduino configured in the Red Bull logo) , a nice webcam, way cool Snowball microphone, an awesome Iceman II cooler and lots of Red Bull to fill it with it (delivered in person by Red Bull of Tampa!) , which could prove helpful in the upcoming season!
So what’s next? Our first new season team meeting later this month, with an almost all new team – the majority of our team members graduated last season! (Fortunately, most of them have promised to help mentor TDT!) The new season kick-off is September 8th, in Orlando , and we’ve got a whole new tournament format here in Florida to help pilot (so maybe it’s a good thing we have a mostly all new flight crew!).
So stay tuned for the further adventures of Team Duct Tape, as we head into our 5th season, ready to build, program, play, learn and share what we love about FIRST! Interested in being part of the fun? Visit Be Part of Team Duct Tape to learn how to apply. We’ll accept applications through August 24.
Have duct tape, will travel!