Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Spectrum's "FIRST $1000"

This is the list of tools and equipment we would buy if we were starting our  FRC team from scratch with nothing to our name. This list doesn't include any consumables such as tape, metal, connectors, cleaners, bolts, robot parts, etc. Many of these specific items can be substituted for similar items especially if you have a little more money to spend on items.

Spreadsheet Link: 1000.Spectrum3847.org

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Nov News: FLL Volunteers Needed Dec 2nd

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FIRST Lego League Volunteers Needed Dec 2nd


We need people to volunteer for our FLL Tournament. No experience necessary. The biggest thing we need are judges, it's like judging a science fair you just talk to students. You don't need to know anything about the game or the robots. We still need 12 more Judges for the event.
 

FLLvolunteer.spectrum3847.org


FIRST LEGO League is a STEM competition that puts teams of 4th-8th grade students to the test to see which team can build a robot to accomplish the most game tasks, have a well thought out research project, and exemplify FLLs core values.

Project Judges
Selects team award recipients through interaction with teams and contributing to the deliberation process.  Interview and observe teams in the Judging rooms, Pit, and on the playing field.  Position serves as a role model for the team members. Participates in writing short awards scripts extolling merits of winning teams and assists with award presentations to the teams.   The FLL Project changes with the yearly Challenge theme and is the opportunity for the teams to explore the topic in depth and allows them to have a firsthand opportunity in proposing a solution to a problem they selected.


Sample Project, presentation - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flywxtrDy9k

Robot Design Judge
Selects team award recipients through interaction with teams and contributing to the deliberation process.  Interview and observe teams in the Judging rooms, Pit, and on the playing field .  Position serves as a role model for the team members. Participates in writing short awards on-the-spot scripts extolling merits of winning teams and assists with award presentations to the teams.  


Robot Game Missions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TI1XEk3N8E

Core Values Judge
Selects team award recipients through interaction with teams and contributing to the deliberation process.  Interview and observe teams in the Judging rooms, Pit, and on the playing field.  Position serves as a role model for the team members. Participates in writing short awards scripts extolling merits of winning teams and assists with award presentations to the teams.  Information on the FLL Core Values can be found at http://ift.tt/1iUI8UY.

Concessions and Volunteer Food
We also need a few more people to help us with concessions and helping with volunteer lunch and services.
 

Remix Nov 11th

Spectrum will be at The Remix in the Woodlands on Nov 11th. Watch the action live at TheBlueAlliance.com
The Remix 2017
Timelapse of TRR 2017

CANstruction Sucess "Blasting Away Hunger"

"Houston, we have a problem. While the concept of hunger is alien to some, it doesn’t take the Hubble Telescope to see it’s effects on our community. Hunger isn’t light years away – everyday around 66,000 Houstonians are hungry and without food. This year, Spectrum’s theme is “Blasting Away Hunger” and Spectrum 3847 is partnering with the Houston Food Bank to reach this goal."

Full Blog Article about the event.

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"Blasting Away Hunger"

Spectrum 3847, St. Agnes Academy & Strake Jesuit Preparatory high school students, use their engineering design skills to “blast away hunger” at the annual CANstruction Houston Design Build Competition benefiting the Houston Food Bank


(Houston, TX) “Houston, we have a problem. While the concept of hunger is alien to some, it doesn’t take the Hubble Telescope to see it’s effects on our community. Hunger isn’t light years away – everyday around 66,000 Houstonians are hungry and without food. This year, Spectrum’s theme is “Blasting Away Hunger” and Spectrum 3847 is partnering with the Houston Food Bank to reach this goal.

The annual event benefits the Houston Food Bank — all of the canned goods used in the sculptures go to the food bank at the end of the show. “Spectrum 3847 enjoys being part of the CANstruction competition.We have chosen to champion the problem of hunger in our local community where one in four children is at risk of hunger. In an effort to raise local awareness, the team annually participates in CANstruction, competing against high school teams, architecture and engineering firms to build sculptures out of canned goods. We spent three months designing the layout in CAD before the build day.” said Spectrum 3847 Head Coach Allen Gregory IV. “Spectrum’s participation has secured 18,000+ cans for the Houston Food Bank over the past six years and we have won the “Best High School” award twice. We are grateful to WGW Architects, Inc. for sponsoring our team.“

The Canstruction competition provided hands on leadership experience for high school students. “It was really rewarding to be able to lead this project” says Spectrum 3847 Senior Project Manager Jose Martinez. “At first, telling what my friends to do was weird. But after several meetings I got comfortable, and the team got more involved. It’s really cool to see something that we’ve been planning for over a month come completely to life like this.”

Spectrum 3847’s over six foot rocket is on display in City Centre One along with with sculptures crafted from cans of food by Houston architects, builders, high school teams, and engineers as part of AIA’s Houston’s 2017 Canstruction competition. CITYCENTRE district is the host venue for Canstruction® Houston, Inc. a one-of-a-kind design and build competition benefiting the Houston Food Bank.


CANSTRUCTION

Canstruction, Inc. is a national charity of the design and construction industry created by the Society for Design Administration. For millions, each day begins and ends with the anguish of hunger. Canstruction, a charity sponsored by the design and construction industry, is determined to end this suffering. Canstruction is a design/build competition showcasing the talents of design and construction industry professionals and students they mentor. During the next week, the super-sized masterpieces are judged in a variety of categories as these unconventional art exhibits are opened to the public, the cost of admission – just one can of food.
SPECTRUM #3847
Spectrum is an award winning  FIRST Robotics team #3847 made up of high school students from St. Agnes Academy and Strake Jesuit College Preparatory two Catholic college preparatory schools in southwest Houston, Texas. St. Agnes is all-girls, and Strake Jesuit is all-boys. http://www.spectrum3847.org.  For more information about Spectrum #3847, visit www.spectrum3847.org or  contact Spectrum FRC #3847 Mentor, Allen Gregory IV, at Allen.Gregory.IV@gmail.com.
# # #

“Blasting Away Hunger”  sculpture. Spectrum 3847, St. Agnes Academy & Strake Jesuit Preparatory students, use their engineering design skills to combat hunger at the CANstruction Houston Design Build Competition benefiting the Houston Food Bank

Left to right: Damian Barrientos, Jose Martinez, David Baula, Sarah Rogers, Jakob Wittry, Allen Gregory, Alex Carlson, Darren Nguyen, Elaine Fung, Lily Hoefner, Sophie Hoefner, Jeff Weissling  



POSTER

“Houston, we have a problem. While the concept of hunger is alien to some, it doesn’t take the Hubble Telescope to see it’s effects on our community. Hunger isn’t light years away – everyday around 66,000 Houstonians are hungry and without food. This year, Spectrum’s theme is “blasting away hunger” and Spectrum is partnering with the Houston Food Bank to reach this goal. Because healthy food is astronomically expensive in 2017, our team used  over 1,400 cans create a 6 foot high rocket! The cans will provide families across Houston with nutritious meals. We have launched our plan to end hunger in Houston and hopefully, one day, hunger will be destroyed with a big bang.”

Thursday, September 14, 2017

FIRST Power Up


Spectrum watched the 2018 FRC teaser tonight in our lab and we have some initial reactions. 

Elevation Changes
  • Power UP - makes it pretty obvious that robots will have to climb something,
  • that may be stairs like the student walks down in the beginning of the clip or it could be ramps that robots have to drive up.
  • There are stairs/ramps in the poster and on top of the arcade machine

Coins
  • Collecting them as a game piece
  • Discs/Frisbees/Disc Golf Discs
  • If you turn in coins your human players can put out different game pieces based on the amount of coins.
  • Possibly scoring in coin slots
  • Tiny coins (like 1in or less)
  • Large coins (2 ft or bigger diameter)
  • Coin dispensers on the field, so you have to pull something, push a block, hit something, to release more coins (hoppers?)
  • 500 = Coin Amount on the field?
    • (Searches for “500” in google did not return any relevant results)

Power Ups = changes or bonuses mid match
  • Bonus points
  • Get certain items or score in a certain order and then there are multipliers. Similar to ubertubes in 2011
  • Unlock certain parts of the game or objectives after scoring or completing objectives
  • Possibly get to choose which power ups to use each match
    • Audience selection of power ups?

FIRST Logo on poles (similar to logo motion)
  • Possibly hanging logos like 2011
  • Maybe have to get logo pieces off the poles instead of putting them on
  • 4 out of 5 games on the machine were pick and place games
    • 2005, 2007, 2011, 2017 (not 2016)
Misc
  • Human players score the game pieces on the side of the field similar to pilots placing gears this year.
  • Size changes?
  • The power ups may allow your robots to expand to a taller or larger size.
  • Inflatable robots (unlikely but cool)
  • Video Game Mechanics
  • A lot of things are possible with video mechanics.
  • Mystery boxes
  • Co-op elements
      • Intra alliance co-op elements were it takes multiple robots on an alliance to do something
      • Inter alliance co-op similar to 2012/2015 (hopefully not)
  • Barrel Jumping/Ladder Climbing

Just for Fun
  • Fire Alarm = Lava Game

- Spectrum



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Response

Thank you all for your support, concern, and donations. We greatly appreciate it.

As you know Houston and much of the gulf coast has been hit by a devastating natural disaster. Spectrum was mostly spared, our shop and many of our team members homes are dry, we do have several members of our community effected and we will be working to help and volunteer in our community and the greater Houston community. At the moment anyone looking to help FIRST teams in the area can donate through FIRST in Texas.

FIRST in Texas Harvey Fund: http://firstintexas.org/donate/
Dear FIRST family near and far,
The state of Texas has been dealt a terrible blow, one whose effects will be felt deeply by communities throughout South and Central Texas for some time. As the recovery efforts continue and the tough work in the aftermath of this devastating event begins we want to be sure that our Texas teams, schools and community partners know we are here to support their efforts to rebuild.
As such, FIRST in Texas has established the ‘Harvey Fund’. All proceeds will be distributed to Texas teams affected by Hurricane Harvey and can be used for any team and competition related expense for any one of the FIRST four programs.
We ask that you share the following link far and wide - http://firstintexas.org/donate/ - in order to ensure that no team, school or community partner has to choose between an essential need and participation in the upcoming FIRST robotics competitive season. Please give, any amount is welcome and appreciated.
It is times like these when community matters most, let’s show our South and Central Texas FIRST family that we are here for them no matter how great the challenge; we will get through it together.
Be safe and well,
Christine Pollei
President/Executive Director, FIRST in Texas
FIRST in Texas
South IH-35, Suite 200-263
Round Rock, Texas 78664
You can also donate to the general Houston Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that was set up by the Houston Mayer here -
https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/

It's going to take a lot of work but the Houston community has already started to repair the damage and we'll be ready to host events like our FRC Regionals and Houston FIRST Championship this season.

Houston Strong
- Spectrum

"Bad things do happen in the world, like war, natural disasters, disease. But out of those situations always arise stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things." - Daryn Kagan

Saturday, August 12, 2017

SPECTaculaR Summer Camp

Spectrum members with their students after a successful 2 weeks.

From July 31-August 11, Spectrum team members taught engineering principles and programming basics to over 60 underprivileged children at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston. Using VEX IQ robots and the ROBOTC program, team members guided students ages 6-12 through the process of building, programming, and testing their robots.

Spectrum members teach children how to assemble a robot.

Throughout the week, our students aided the children in building a robot, programming, and utilizing various sensors. Each day built on knowledge from the previous sessions. Campers learned to use gyro, ultrasonic, touch, and color sensors, and were able to incorporate several sensors into programs. Team members encouraged campers to write their own programs after each lesson. 

Campers learn to troubleshoot when encountering problems with their programs.

Over the 10 day camp, our students introduced and fostered interest in the children for robotics. Not only did campers learn about robots, but our students also observed an increase in problem solving ability and creativity. "There's no greater moment for us than the children's excitement when they finish their first program, or when they successfully complete a difficult challenge," said senior Elaine Fung.  Jeff Weissling, junior, commented that "It's really nice seeing all these young kids interested in robotics. I hope they continue learning and pursuing STEM." 

These past two weeks would not have been possible without our amazing student volunteers. Thank you for your dedication!