The Safety Bootcamp Experience

The Safety Bootcamp class teaches you how to handle tools while operating in the workshop. The class begins with the usual debriefing, informing us as to who has permission to use a certain tool and who does not. We were then warned about the dangers of not correctly using the tools. Then, the actual hands-on work happens. We learn about some of the important and different tools and supplies we may need to build the robot, such as the band-saw that cuts the metal, polycarbonate and the drills which we utilize to bore into the bones of the robot. Learning about the tools and the different supplies may be very appealing to those who are interested in hands-on activities.

On the other hand, if you love creating things with your hands or want to bring your ideas to life, then electrical or mechanical is the subgroup for you. These subgroups bring their ideas to life, in the physical form. Maybe it’s the hands-on experience, or the opportunity to bring your ideas to life, or even just the group of creative people who you join. No matter what reason it is, it can’t be done without the safety class. This class allows you to bring your idea to life with the minimal amount of risk of harming yourself. Without the Safety Class, many of the most creative people, specializing in bringing their ideas into the physical form, may be harmed and may possibly be discouraged into following their passion.

Business Blog Post

Have you ever felt so passionately about something you want to do? Do you want to participate in that ¨something¨ so bad but you can´t? That’s exactly why we decided to join business! We felt more comfortable and interested in business, since we already knew we wanted to join it the first place. We mainly talked about what the team does; learning  that business focuses on communication and finances for the team, which is extremely crucial.

As expected, we both joined business after bootcamp. Although we are not familiar with each other yet, the upperclassmen seem nice. We are already sure that it was not a mistake to join business. Why should you join business? Well, we just told you, didn’t we? But there are obviously more reasons as to why you should join business. If you are interested, you should find out for yourself!

-Helen Chen and Eric Li

FTC Boot Camp

The First Tech Challenge (FTC) boot camp was an interesting experience, featuring moments both entertaining and informational. We had two teachers, both experienced members of the team in their own right. They were funny, often engaging in joking arguments with each other or the students. They were able to make a potentially boring subject interesting, which made it a very enjoyable experience that promised a lot for the robotics season.

We went over the FIRST acronym, learning its meaning “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. Next, we learned what the team expected of us, and how to uphold those expectations. Then, we discussed this year’s FTC game, Rover Ruckus. We went over the rules, awards, and some strategies to think over. Lastly, we discussed the Engineering Notebook, an integral part of any FTC robotics team. Overall, the FTC boot camp session was a promising experience that set an inspirational tone for the rest of the FTC season.

-Finn Brenner

Programming Boot Camp

During our introduction to robotics, we were exposed to the fundamentals of programming. We learned the structure of Java (the programming language we use to code the robot) in this class. Our teachers were very social and fun to work with. We had to “program” Ramon (giving him commands in the form of code) to grab a marker and draw something on the board. The teachers’ personalities made the programming subgroup quite interesting. We did dreadful icebreakers but they made everyone feel cool; I heard about Six Flags, and all the other famous trips the Robolancers take; everybody seemed like they were chill and fun to work with.  

If you aren’t sure that you want to join programming, you should at least consider it, especially if you like mentoring and working with others who share common interests. If you like programming and teaching people new things, JOIN, JOIN, JOIN! You have the chance to meet new people and make new friends! Most importantly, you learn how to program, which could really help you in the long run.

Cyanni Wattley and Teagan Clark

States

While taking part in this amazing competition full of vitalized and confident teams, I was able to experience the thrill of competing. The states event was extremely enjoyable. Not only did I get the chance to meet other teams that were inspiring to see, I also was able to meet different people with a variety of creative and interesting views on their designs and problem-solving. The time I spent at states was genuinely fun. I saw people’s determination and excitement in building their robot, took part in the games, and met new a diversified group of people. Overall, the states event was an enjoyable time, and I hope to continue that excitement in thrill throughout my time in robotics.

My Experience at States

I’m a FTC Gold member, and although we didn’t win, I enjoyed my experience at States. The robots there were amazing and I don’t think any of us are ashamed that we lost to such smooth and practiced teams. It even encouraged us to build a new robot; inspired by many of those we saw at States. There was a sense of community, not just among the RoboLancers teams, but all Philadelphia teams, as Girls High, Palumbo, and Central all cheered each other on. This was the first time we saw the semifinals and finals from an outsider’s perspective, not as someone competing, and it made the experience a lot more fun. We are all so proud of the judges award we won, and I think everyone had a good time.

My experiences with the Business team of the RoboLancers

At the end of Boot Camp, I chose to join the Business team because of the great experience I had with Business section of the Boot Camp. In the first week, I was awkward because I didn’t know anyone. We were given a task to develop a theme for the RoboLancers based on the topic of the FRC game this year. Throughout the process of making up a theme, I became familiar with the history of the Robolancers and the people in the team. We worked hard with each other to develop a theme and prepare for the presentation. Even though only three of us were there on the day of the presentation, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.

In the Business team, we also had to do public speaking. I was shocked when I heard that we had to stand in front of the team and talked about a topic for 5 minutes. I was really bad at public speaking and I was really scared to talk in front of a large group of people. However, I tried my best and learned my mistakes.

Overall, I am having a great time in Business and I am learning a lot.

Thoughts on the Robolancers

The first time I have ever seen the Robolancers was at a robotics convention, where they seemed to be doing a competition. Ever since then, I was curious if I should join the team, since I knew I was going to Central High School. The previous year I had joined the robotics team of my grade school, and it was an amazing experience. But now that I’m a member of the Robolancers, it trumps my previous experiences on a robotics team.

Currently, I am in the business division of the team, and the experience has been awesome. It was really interesting to see something more complex than just: “Here’s the parts, now build a robot”. I feel as if the Robolancers will help me open more doors for my future.

Philadelphia Science Festival

The Philadelphia Science Festival features endless activities for everyone! It was a fun and unique experience for me because I got the chance to experience the festival as an attendee and an exhibitor. As an exhibitor it was a fun experience connecting with many different people through spreading STEM. It was really fun introducing others to robotics, our team, what we do here at Central High School, and in the Philadelphia community. Also, because it was a very diverse crowd with people of all ages I not only got to work with kids but also adults, getting many different people introduced to STEM. As an attendee, the festival was fun in a different way. Instead of teaching others, I got to learn from them which was just as enjoyable! I never thought I could learn so much in one afternoon. I got to witness others getting the opportunity to enjoy STEM the way I do!

 

 

 

PA FTC State Championship

On February 27, 2016, the Robolancers of Crimson 6676 participated in the Pennsylvania FTC Championship in York, PA. We were all nervous, as well as relieved when the bus drove up to Dallastown Intermediate School, the host of the competition. We walked to our pit, observing the impressive robots and accessories of other teams. We were immediately worried about how our robot would compare to these teams who were the best of their region. Yet we were still determined to do our best.
The first thing we needed was for the presentation team to perform for the judges. We thought our presentation went very well, yet the presentation of the other teams seemed to have also gone very well. As the day went on, we tested our autonomous, which was later able to perform the scoring of climbers into a bin, and practiced our tele-op, which was having many issues regarding our robot’s connection.

The qualifying games began and we were still not prepared to perform at out highest ability. Fortunately, we were allied with teams who earned us a high ranking of 3rd place after a couple games. On the other hand, as the competition progressed, our ranking went down. At the end of qualifying matches we were ranked 10th place. We were happy that we ranked high in the end, but disappointed that our robot din’t work as desired, due to connection complications.
There was still hope of earning an award that would allow us to move on to the East Super-regionals Championship after ranking tenth place. Unfortunately, we did not earn any, and this competition marked the end of our FTC 2016 season. Exhausted, we got on the bus and drove back do Philadelphia.