Kick-off is Saturday, January 6th. This is when the students will learn the 2018 game.
Some team members will be at the Lake Michigan College event hosted by FIRST. Here they will watch presentations from other robotics teams, businesses, and FIRST volunteers. They will be able to watch the game reveal Live and ask questions to clarify any rules. They will also be able to see the playing field set up.
Other members will be watching the live stream from the middle school. They will immediately break down the point system and begin to strategize for the game. They will then begin to come up with design concepts and prototypes. They will also look into buying parts.
At our first competition, the St. Joseph Regional, we placed 16th out of 40 teams and made it to the quarter finals. We also won the Gracious Professionalism award thanks to our two programmers going around and helping teams! One of our own students also made it to the semifinals for the Dean's List award and will be competing for it if we qualify for state.
Our next competition is the East Kentwood Regional. You can find more information on the Important Info page.
Build season consists of the hectic 6 weeks teams are allowed to design, build, and program their robot.
During the first two weeks we were able to complete the design for the robot and the robot cart. While the design team worked on the new robot design, our programmers broke out our competing bot from the last season and got it up and running to teach the freshman programmers how to work with programming fundamentals. In addition, the build team worked on prototyping the field elements for this season’s game. Our marketing and media team has been working on grant writing, emailing sponsors, and creating fundraising materials. Other members have started working on side projects such as animated videos, strategy sheets, award submissions, and even working with last year’s winner of the national competition, 2767 Stryke Force.
In our third and fourth week of build season, we focused on building our first robot. Our Design team worked on the design for our second robot and robot cart. Our Programmers worked on the configuration sheet, programming the gyro, and updating the vision system. The business team visited local companies, submitted grants, and updated this season’s budget. The marketing team designed the new 2018 avatar, t-shirts, and flag. Meanwhile, our team captain has led the way in getting the team eligible to earn awards at our competition.
In the final weeks of build season, we finished our first robot and began work on our second robot, which we will use for practice and training. The programmers finished their program for the robot. The business team continued to look for grants and contacting businesses. The marketing team worked on the banner for this upcoming competition season.
Our new robot is named "Raptor"!
Project week is a tradition for the Iron Giants. This took place the week before winter break. Students are put in groups and have to fund, design, build, and present their project. This is useful as team members are able to witness first hand the processes used during build season. It also causes different sub-teams to get out of their comfort zones and experience other parts of the build process.
This year, students were tasked with building a rotor egg drop. They were given a list of possible supplies, restrictions, and point values. They then had to create a strategy to get the most points. They used this strategy to create their design. Once finished they created their marketing strategy. They took this to the 'businesses' and were awarded bot bucks based on their presentation. They may have had to alter their design based on their budget. Teams were then able to buy materials and begin to build. Once they were done building, they were provided time to test their prototype. On the last day, each group gave a presentation explaining what they learned. We then tested the prototypes. The judges added up all of the points and determined the winners.
Since October, students have been meeting once a week to learn skills needed for the upcoming season. During this time they were able to explore the different areas of robotics (design, marketing, programming, build) and discover their interests. Students also worked together to fundraise for their upcoming season.