Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on all the great people who support and encourage Team Duct Tape members, individually and as a team. Today, a couple of TDT members visited Paul Markun at his Tampa Technik machine shop in St. Petersburg. We were treated to a look at a machine he’d designed and built for a manufacturing company. The machine cuts PVC pipe with no waste and little noise, and Mr. Markun walked students through his development and prototyping process to see how he arrived at the final product. It was an eye opening and thought provoking journey!
He also took time to talk to the team members about tool selection, care and organization, important topics we’ve been addressing at meetings.
Mr. Markun also looked over our robot and shared some thoughts and insights about our ideas for improvements. It was a great visit, and offered a terrific opportunity for realizing just how lucky we are to have so many people who care about the team’s and student members’ success.
From FLL team TechnoForce taking the time to come out and cheer us on at Robomania, to Mr. Pete Grotsky from ASME coming out to a meeting to mentor students on the interview process, to McCormick-Stevenson’s Pro/ENGINEER guidance, to organizations like EA Games and Coastal Caisson and USF opening
their doors to us, to ShurTech Brand’s wonderful donation of a boxful of Duck Tape, to the contributions of time and assistance by member families, to the generous funding provided by ASME and PTC, FTC Team Duct Tape is fortunate and grateful beyond words!
The gifts all these and many other wonderful individuals and groups have given TDT students are meaningful far beyond any competition recognition or trophies, and will last students a lifetime.
Thank you all, for all you do, and know that your gifts of time and financial support are deeply valued and appreciated!
We enjoyed a remarkable tour of the deep foundation preparation firm, Coastal Caisson, this morning. Recently relocated right in our neck of the Florida woods, in Odessa, in Pasco county, Coastal Caisson provides foundation solutions all across the southeast.
We learned about everything from the different types of engineering fields employed by the company – civil, mechanical, geological, industrial, and materials, to name a few — to how the company makes parts for, repairs and maintains all its own equipment — and it’s enormous equipment! — to the various forms of foundational solutions they use to meet different construction needs.
We especially enjoyed meeting East Lake High School intern, Mark Wahnish, son of Paul Wahnish, of the Career Technical Education Foundation, and an occasional, and always noble, FTC opponent with his East Lake team, Team Krunch. Mark has been helping with Coastal Caisson’s geothermal energy project.
Among Coastal Caisson’s developments is the technology to build underground
structures in Florida — a real challenge if you know anything about Florida and our close to the surface water table. We descended into a prototype model complete with a spiral staircase and rich with possible uses as anything from a basement, to a hurricane shelter to a water storage unit.
Thanks, Coastal Caisson, for a deeply educational and inspiring visit. We’ll never look at big foundation services equipment the same way again!
On Friday, Team Duct Tape members will be visting Coastal Caisson, a deep foundation services company based in Odessa, to learn about other engineering applications.
Team members have spent the last few days getting plans in order for our upcoming FIRST LEGO League summer camps, hosted by the THINK Day homeschool learning cooperative. The first week of the camp will be for THINK Day students and the second week was opened to any interested students. Both camps are filled to capacity and we’re looking forward to meeting and working with so many interested elementary and middle school students, and especially to our Mini-Tournament FIRST Open House event that will follow, on July 6 at Jimmy Keel Public Library.
Team members expanded their use of online social networking resources, using Skype to meet online this week, to tweak their camp plans further. It was a great, time effective way to have a short meeting and is a resource we’ll continue to use throughout the new season, along with Windchill and other collaborative tools.