With a “to-do” list long as a new roll of duct tape, TDT members got right back to work after the ROBOT League Championship to evaluate lessons learned and improvements needed. We’ve come a long way but the State Championship is a whole new game, with the playing field level and everything possible, and up against and with some of the best teams in the state.
Today, we got to share a bit of our story with B.C. Manion, a reporter for the Laker , and with 83 Degrees media about our upcoming visit to coolTech 2013.
Everyone’s got specific tasks they’ve taken ownership of, and a pretty tight timeline to get it all done. Mr. Adsit led team members on a project planning overview, similar to what he did with team members last year, to help everyone get a realistic view of what could be accomplished in the short time allotted us, always a good exercise!
Team members will be honing interview skills, tweaking Sheldon a bit (that’s Robot’s name!) , and working in full calendar of upcoming outreach events starting with Lockheed Martin E-week on February 20th, in Orlando, followed by the USF Engineering Expo on February 23 , followed by the Championship. And the outreach roster is full when we get back, too, when we exhibit at the FRC Orlando Regional on March 9, coolTech on March 14, and then at the Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire on March 23.
And on top of that, we’re fundraising, hoping to raise $2500 to help defray lodging, travel and other competition related costs on our journey to Daytona.
So we’ve got three weeks left before the State Championship and not a minute to spare between now and then. What a great ride!
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!
That’s us, ready or not, not the world, necessarily, and here we come (go!) to our first competition of the season on Saturday, Middleton Madness at Middleton High School.
The robot’s built, the Engineering Notebook is complete, our Team Video is turned in, we’ve got some cool duct tape gear and goodies for our FTC friends, and we’ve got our game on! If nothing else, we plan to have a really good time catching up with teams, and cheering on our new sister team, #5210, MISSION imPOSSIBLE TEAM (MIT), who is also competing on Saturday.
Learn more about this year’s TDT members at our Meet Team Duct Tape page.