This is my first year being a part of the team and I’ve never been to any of the events for Robotics. It was my first time at Drive It! and my first time at any Robotics event so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I got there, our team was carrying in boxes and setting up the field. As a member of Marketing, I didn’t have a clue of what the others were doing. The Marketing team and I set up the food stand along with our sassy security guard.
Once our food stand was completely set up and our fabulous signs were taped up, the first chapter of our business began. Our first customers were our team’s members. All of them bought the same thing and that was the Mountain Dew Throwback. After risking frostbite to look for those Throwback cans that were in such high demand, a few more customers appeared. They were unfamiliar faces which indicated that some of the others teams had arrived. Luckily, they requested donuts and hot chocolate(which we didn’t even have at that moment). Other customers appeared after seeing people eat those delicious donuts that were purchased from our food stand. Our thanks goes to Dunkin Donuts for selling us the donuts. We made a lot of money because of them.
Of course, my attention was not only directed to the food stand but also the teams. Since I didn’t know any faces other than the faces of our team members, I directed most of my attention to our own members. The most notable one was Henry Dang. As I was tending to customers’ needs, I watched as he went from table to table. During that time, I was a bit confused and I was wondering why he was at another team’s table. I started to notice that other teams’ members were at our team’s table. That’s when I realized that the teams were helping each other’s robot. They were helping each other so that the team’s could drive their robots hence, ‘Drive It!” At that moment, I felt like I had just discovered the meaning of life. After a long day of rummaging through trash bins for soda cans that were buried under a ton of ice, my day had finally come to an end. On the bus, I wondered if that whole day was a complete waste of time. I opened my bag and picked up the completely forgotten, complimentary Twix bar I got for running the stand and concluded that Drive It! was totally worth it.
The RoboLancers are currently holding a canned goods and book drive. Located in various locations of Central High School there will be bins and boxes. The bins will be used for the canned goods while the boxes are for books. However, textbooks or damaged books cannot be donated.
The boxes and bins are not plain and dull. The Marketing team has been working hard in decorating them with various designs and by putting up posters around the school. As part of Marketing I had fun in drawing and decorating the boxes. I’m hoping that people will be donating.
We are hoping that we will be able to exceed 900 lbs of books, which was last year’s amount by having everyone in the team donate.
The book drive will end on October 18th and the canned goods drive will end on November 1st.
On September 18 the RoboLancers welcomed the new members of the team at our meeting. Before the meeting, some of our returning team members went around the school and promoted Robotics in hopes we would be able to recruit new members. They went into various classrooms and explained our group, the RoboLancers, to everyone.
The meeting was held in Central’s auditorium. Before the end of school, it was only filled with the returning members of the team, fixing the stage and getting ready for the presentation. But it soon changed as people quickly walked into the room, hoping that they would be able to sign up. There was excitement and eagerness on all of their faces.
The presentation was led by our coach, Mr. Johnson, and other members of the team. They went over what the RoboLancers were all about. They explained what the game for FTC was, the responsibilities of being on the team, and explained what Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, and Marketing were.
After the meeting everyone broke up into smaller groups and showed them where the RoboLancers worked. To break the ice, the groups played various games. When the new members were asked what subgroup they wanted to join, most had an idea of what they wanted to do. They then went into detail about the game, and brainstormed ideas for what the robot would be like.
The promotion for Robotics was a success for there were 112 new members who showed up at the meeting. There are 52 returning members with one or two returning as well. This brings the team to an all-time high of 164. Everyone has high hopes that the game for FTC will be successful.
The RoboLancers have been invited to present at the Tesla Days 2014 by the Nikola Tesla Inventors Club, an affiliate of the Tesla Science Foundation.
We will be making a presentation about our team, FIRST Robotics, and the importance of STEM Education in Philadelphia at the Main Branch of the Free Libarary of Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 9th, 2013, between 1:30 and 3:30 PM. WE also be demoing our 2014 FRC robot! Please join us for this interesting and informative presentation, which is free to the public.
Please email the RoboLancers at email@example.com if you have any questions about this event.
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
In between 1:30 and 3:30 PM
Today I attended Marketing Materials, which is a class that is part of Spring Training. The class was taught by the RoboLancers’ Assistant Coach, Mrs. Conrad, and Thomas Davidenko, a member of the RoboLancers. They were excellent teachers and because of them I learned a lot about Marketing.
In the class I learned all of the important aspects of Marketing such as finding sponsors for our team, how to impress potential sponsors, and various skills that will be needed in making the RoboLancers successful. I payed special attention on how the RoboLancers could impress potential sponsors. Mrs. Conrad gave us tips on how we could accomplish this task. One of the tips was having a good elevator pitch, which she told us was an important skill to have.
During the class Mrs. Conrad and Thomas decided to do a small activity and broke the class into small groups so we could practice on our elevator pitches together. We had to come up with a topic and had to impress Thomas and Mrs. Conrad on our topic in less than 30 seconds. I was in a group with Justin and Wendy. Our first topic, “Cat Sponsors” was suggested by Justin. He had been very excited about it.
“Cat sponsors! Cats will support our team! Black cats, White cats, Tabby cats, all cats will support the RoboLancers!”
I was too stunned at his enthusiasm to respond. However, Wendy wanted to change the topic to “Buy a cat” and we all decided to stick with that.
In the end of the class Mrs. Conrad told all of us an amusing story where when she was little she would practice her elevator pitch in front of the bathroom mirror. She then suggested that we all do that at home. I would do it, but I’m afraid that my parents will be wondering if there is something wrong with me.
Yesterday the RoboLancers went to the Philly Science Festival to show off our FRC and FTC Robots and talk about STEM Education and FIRST Robotics. Our booth was placed across the Franklin Institute. We had to set up our booth from 7:45 A.M to 10:00 A.M. Right before the event officially started when there was no crowd we did practice drives with our robot on the closed off street.
As soon as the festival started a crowd formed around our booth as we demonstrated our robot. I was busy in the booth talking about the team, STEM, and FIRST. We decided to start an emailing list for people who were interested in starting a team or getting their children involved. I really hope we can get some new FIRST teams started in the city.
When I wasn’t at our booth I was busy looking at all the different booths. While walking around I found the Friere’s RoboDragons and SLA’s FRC team. My favorite booth was probably the booth where you could make homemade ice cream.
I hope that we can participate in the festival next so that we can help spark an interest about FIRST Robotics for some of the people who visited our booth.
(Photo: Rachelle Potente)
Arriving at the Robolancers booth at 7:30, I could feel the weather would shape out to be a great day for us. Hank arrived with the robots and booth supplies, and we started to unload everything from the car that was packed ever so meticulously in order to fit everything we needed. After the booth was all set up and more Robolancers started to show up we did some joy-riding with the FRC robot. This carried on till sectors started to arrive, then I was off to the FTC field.
The field was hectic at first, from connection issues to missing supplies to broken robots and impatient lines, Andy, Jonah and I had a lot in our hands. But after sorting everything out the day went smoothly… for a while at least. We were forced to settle with only one robot running to demo at a time to my much pleasure, Crimson was among them. Its late but Crimson worked and unlike gold, we found out that it was quiet childproof.
It was a pleasure explaining the FIRST program and FTC to the interested parents as the kids drove around the field. In the end the line moved smoothly, both Crimson and Gold were being switched in and out of operation and everyone was happy. It’s amazing to see just how smart some of the kids were and interested in robotics.Overall, it was a great day, and hopefully we sparked an interest for some of the kids who visited us.
Ignite Philly, which is part of a worldwide network that entertains and educates people in short five minute bursts, made a $1,000 donation to Central High School’s
robotics team, the RoboLancers, FIRST Team #321. Ignite Philly focuses on people in Philadelphia involved in cool projects.
Read more here: Ignite Philly Donation Press Release