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:
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 - - 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 -

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!