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One of our mentors, Dr. Chris Harris, a neuroscientists that used to work for the NIH and recently joined a startup called backyard brains. Its core mission is to increase the opportunity for high schools students to take steps into the field of neuroscience. It is not taught much at schools so he, along with his company, developed robots and programs that have artificial "brains". They also developed a software that allows users to add in neurons and synapsis to see how it would affect the robot. We offered to beta test these robots. Dr. Harris came to one of our member's house and we had a great time learning and interacting with the robots. We can't wait for the public design and product!
The Wizards organized another scrimmage at USRA. It was a great way to practice for ESR and allowed us to meet with some other great FTC Teams. 3 other teams attended including 7128 MP3. We all had a great time and we were able to practice against great robots.
The Wizards hosted a very small scrimmage at Launch Workplaces. Only one team was able to attend, Schrodinger's Hats. Although there was a lack of teams, we used some of our past competition and outreach bots that have been modified to place defense and score points. It was really fun and we were able to get in a lot of practice.
There was 5 other FTC teams at the event. Due to the large quantity of robots in one field, there was a large crowd interested in controlling the robots. Frost STEAM night was similar to JWMS STEM Night. We took Gandalf again. We hope that we can start a STEM Club or team at the school.
The JWMS STEM Night was very similar to our other community events. We took our former competition robot Gandalf and allowed children to shoot particles. There was quite a lot interest in the school. There were also many teachers that we interested. The principal, Mr. Craig Staton, is also interested in starting a LEGO EV3 club at the school.
We didn't compete and the Pennsylvania state championship due to the fact that we had already qualified twice for ESR. So, because Pennsylvania FTC is just so amazing, two of our members and some parents volunteered. We had a great time and filled in some volunteer positions. Our members were able to learn a lot more about teams we will meet in ESR and made many new friends.
The FLL Jr. Maryland state expo was partially by both STEMAction and the Wizards. Not only did we help provide reviewers and volunteers, but served as them as well. We participated in deliberations and running the ceremonies too. The children were very content with the outcome and during the competition. Although we did not participate as major volunteers in the FLL championship, we did serve as ambassadors for FTC. We rallied some interest and hopefully there will be future FTC teams from this event.
We had started an FLL Jr. club at the school in the beginning of the year. Because the outcome teams were not properly registered, they were not able to participate in a official expo. So, the Wizards set up an expo just for the Gibbs teams at their STEM Night.
We wanted to return to Beverly Farms ES after we attended their back to school night in the beginning of the year hoping to renew interest. The event was one of our typical community events. The children were very captivated by Gandalf and shooting particles.
Amanda Puerto, who we had been in communications with for our FLL Friday events was interested in us running at FLL Scrimmage at the KID Museum. We wanted to not only give teams who had not competed this season a chance to go head to head with other teams, but allow teams which advanced to the Maryland State Championship a chance to practice.
One of our members testified to the Maryland State house. We were advocating for more funding in computer science as well as FIRST within the state. The legislature seemed very engaged with our statement and we hope that something will come from this.
Mrs. Kim O'Shaughnessy invited our team to her school for their design night. Since she felt we did such a good job at the YPO event in the summer, she wanted us to return. We demoed our robots to the school and even met the candidate for maryland governor.
The Wizards hosted an FTC Qualifier at the Naval academy. It was a great event. We arrived the day before for set up and had a battalion of midshipmen to help out. The next day we arrived early to greet all our volunteers. The event ran smoothly and the team really didn't stress because of all the planning we did. The qualifier ran on time and was really peppy thanks to Patrick Phee the best emcee of all time!
One of our mentors, Mr. Prakash Sesha from Lockheed Martin has an FLL Team. Two of our team members went to their meeting space to mentor them. We went through a basic rundown of their research project and robot. Our members were able to provide constructive feedback to help improve their work on both fronts. We helped them prepare for their competition which will be soon.
This was a follow up to a previous meeting with the two teams. We helped them set a simple teleop code. We also helped them with some concerns about their glyph mechanism. Lena helped them out with things such as their continuous rotation servos. The call was a success and Lena followed up further with some emails.
One of our team members, Lena, had a video call with McDonough FTC. She answered some of their questions about the hardware and software aspect, as well as outreach. She gave them our perspective about the different topics. The team was very interest and was very thankful for our help.
This meeting was much better than the previous as we had many interpreters. Raashi was able to follow up with the team from her previous call with them. She was able to teach the rest of the team the rest of the connections, configurations, and coding training session. It was a great success and we can't wait to follow up with a later teleconference.
Our team member Arjun went to one of Redstone Mechanic's meetings to help out with their robot. They were having some issues with a specific mission and wanted to implement some sensors. Arjun was able to teach them about the color and ultrasonic sensor and helped get their program up and running. He will follow up with further training sessions later.
Two of our team members volunteered at an FTC Qualifier. This qualifier is the day before the one we will be competing at. Our members served as field volunteers and got to meet many new teams. They had a blast and got to know the venue for the team the next day.
The team from Poolsville HS was having trouble with some servos and programming. We found they were using Java not the Block programming language that FIRST had released this year. It took a lot longer to debug the code. We showed them the Block programming was much easier to use and gets the same end result. We were able to get their servos back up and helped create an autonomous program.
FTC Flamangos once again came to our HQ for some further help on the glyph mechanism and servos. We mainly helped with a blocky program on mastering the continuous rotation REV servos. It was impactful for the member from the team to learn more about the block programing language and its different aspects.
FTC team Flamangos was a former FLL team that we encouraged to graduate to the older league. They have attended several of our training sessions. One of the members came to our HQ to work with us on their drivetrain. We reviewed it and gave the member several tips to improve the mechanism. We also helped them out with their glyph mechanism. We were able to find some fatal flaws that could impair the robot during competition. It was a great learning experience for the FTC team.
Team Brickbotz came to our HQ so we could help them out with their robot. They had recently completed their qualifier, and encountered several issues. Two were that they were having trouble moving straight, and they need to line up to locations using sensors is better manner. We were able to teach them methods to allow straight movement, and educated them on certain sensors. They were very excited in the end and hope we can mentor them over the summer,
Two of our team members went to the KID Museum for our 6th FLL Friday. Although, due to weather conditions, only one team showed up for the event. However, we were able to focus all the volunteers' efforts on the team. We provided them general advice for strategy, and gave them suggestions to help at future competitions.
We first started to get to know the team and its members as it was our first encounter with them. After a group meeting, we split up into two groups to help the team with their project and robot. Although the robot was not stable, it was advanced in other ways. We left them with tips on how to improve the structural integrity of the robot. Also, their project was really advanced and well thought out with lots of research and ideas.