Tag Archives: FIRST robotics

Thank You BAE Systems!

Team Duct Tape is honored and grateful to be the recipient  of a BAE Systems FIRST Grant, which not only includes very helpful funding but equally helpful mentoring support.  We’re looking forward to working with more BAE engineers this season, in addition to Mr. Adsit, who has been such a great mentor the last two years.

BAE  provides grants to FIRST teams because they believe “that the hands-on experience and life skills that students gain through FIRST,  like collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity and confidence are necessary for our country, our communities, and our company’s future workforce.”

Thank you, BAE Systems, for your support at so many levels, and for the confidence and trust you place in our FIRST Tech Challenge team.  We will represent with class and professionalism and look forward to sharing our 2013-14 team journey with you!



Revving Up for 2013-14 Season!

We held our first “official” meeting of the new season Saturday, officially welcoming new members Koen and Jacob, who spent most of the summer hanging out with the team so they were well on board by Saturday already anyway.  And we also welcomed this season’s new apprentice, Andres!

Andres is following in the finest tradition of TDT apprentices, started by Ethan back in 2009, and followed by Ryder in 2011.  Apprentices have been students that are younger  than the rest of the team – usually 11 or 12 – and who aren’t too familiar with FIRST, but like TDT or would like to learn more about FTC as opposed to FLL. The tradition is so enjoyed, as a matter of fact, that team members elected to change the title of the role from “apprentice” to “intern,” pending Andres’ approval. Andres wholeheartedly agreed!

We also were proud and happy to recognize TDT Alumni Joel Croteau’s achievement of becoming a FIRST Americorps VISTA, serving FIRST in central Florida.

The first half of the meeting was our annual Parents Meeting,welcoming new members,  introducing for our new families and reviewing for our veteran families, Team Duct Tape Philosophy, Code of Conduct, Meeting Expectations and more (you can find all our team foundational documents on our Library page).

Setting clear expectations at the start of each season makes for smooth sailing all (or most!) season long.  Over the years, we’ve learned that team members will usually rise to the highest expectations set of them, and parents assured that coaches and mentors have their children’s best interests and future coping skills at heart will support the team fully and strongly, helping ensure those skills are solidly rooted.

After the Parent Meeting, TDT members set to the task of disassembling Otis, our tried and true elevator robot from our Bowled Over season. Otis was a great robot, and took us to the FTC World Championship in 2012. But parts were needed and it had already started to be cannibalized to keep Sheldon running, so it was time to break Otis down.  Sheldon will be our demo bot for the coming season.

It was a great meeting, and it’s exciting to be revving back up for our 6th season, with Kick-Off next week and a whole new game to play!

Our “Guess the Game” game is still underway,too! If you want to play along, don’t forget to enter your game guesses by Friday, Sept. 6!

Rip it! Stick it! Done! 2013-14 Season – Here We Come!




Getting Ready…

Team Duct Tape held its first official pre-season meeting last week, a combination CAD education session and Kickstarter fulfillment session, to create the duct tape gifts promised to donors, as well as the gifts for our “Guess the Game” Game winners.   Both sessions went well!

This year’s pre-season meeting served as a refresher for last year’s students, and as an intro for a couple of incoming members, whom we’re excited to have on board.  Koen comes to us with some VEX experience, and Jacob, although new to FIRST,  plunged right in earlier this year at outreach events.

Next week, Jacob and Marissa will be representing TDT when they make an appearance on Daytime, with parent sponsor Learning is for Everyone, in a special back-to-school edition of the Channel 8 morning show (didn’t school just let out?!).  The segment they’ll be in is about homeschooling, and since Jacob and Marissa are two of our homeschooled students, they’re great examples of homeschoolers learning by doing, and how FIRST can be integrated into educational environments outside of brick and mortar schools.



Then sometime in the next couple or three weeks, with most of the parts in for our 3D printer, we’ll put that together.  We also hope to get in a cool local robotics facility tour, and a day of team building fun at a local YMCA.  So by the time kick off rolls around in a month (check out our countdown timer at the top right – it’s counting down fast!) , Team Duct Tape members will be ready to hit the ground running – fingers made nimble (and sticky!) by hours of duct tape construction, minds made sharp pouring over CAD instruction, and teamwork strengthened by working together on a 40 ft high ropes course.

Whatever the new season brings, we’ll be ready – for something!