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Merrimack High School FIRST Robotics Team

[ website | chopshop166.com ]
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FIRST camp [05 Aug 2004|02:10am]
[ mood | optimistic ]

Team 166 hosted a one week camp for people who were interested in LEGO league. Unfortunately, the only girls were the councilors, but beyond that it was a great group. The campers split into three teams of four and one team of three. On the first day, the campers began to and building robots from the book. Each day after lunch, Mrs. Leach introduced the campers to important information about FIRST (who Dean Kamen is, what the letters stand for, info about the high school team, etc.). The next day, we taught them the game that their robot would have to be able to go through (Mission Mars), and they got down to work. By Wednesday some of the designs that the teams would be using on Friday were being developed, and the campers were introduced to TommyHawk V in action. We also assigned them the task of creating a marketing campaign complete with a poster board in place of the more time consuming research project that is usually given to lego leaguers. On Thursday, the campers placed the finishing touches on their robots and marketing projects. As with everything in FIRST, things did not turn out perfectly by last day, so early on Friday they fixed the glitches in their programs and fixed the parts that were falling apart. At noon, the councilors became the judges, table-setters, timers and pit bosses for the mini competition. After two rounds, JDL Industries ended up with the high score. Other awards that the councilors gave out included Best Marketing, Best Teamwork, and Best Design. Each of the campers left with a ribbon, an award for their individual successes, and a packet with information and activities Mars, FIRST in general, and MHS chop shop. Overall, a very successful week giving campers invaluable experience in what FIRST is like, and chopshop some much needed extra money.

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Nationals [30 May 2004|12:47pm]

[ mood | chipper ]

So nationals... It was over a month ago but it's still fresh in everyone's mind. Everyone that went had so much fun.

Granted traveling on Wednesday was defiantly interesting. For me the plane ride was...less...scary than I thought it would be. However, I still don't really like planes but I'm cool with them anyway. We get to the airport and check in and we're ready to go. So about 2 hours later we land in Atlanta. The airport there was HUGE. I mean ginormous... It was ridiculous. After getting our luggage and finding the whole team we load the busses and head to our hotel. OMG the Omni Hotel was AMAZING. Sure we were all separated but it was still wicked fun. As long as we all traveled in groups of 4 we were able to go anywhere but on public transportation without an adult. So after some exploring and settling we eat dinner and continue to just chill in our rooms. We then had our nightly meeting and headed to our rooms for the night.

Bright and early this morning Sam, Mr. George and I head in to the pit to open our crates and to get the robot ready for the up-coming competition. We get in only to find that our robot crate is broken and this made us very upset. But we dealt with it and continued to unload as fast as we could. So we finally got everything out and we headed into the arena to get food cuz we hadn't eaten yet. As we head back we see that they're letting everyone into the pit area and so we get back and bring the rest of our pit crew to our pit in the back corner. We do our usual check to make sure everything is working and ready to go. We run our tests only to find out that we can't shift. We missed a match but it was only a practice round and we had 2 more later that day. We get the robot working and are excited for the rest of the day. So our second practice round comes up and the robot works and does really well. Our third practice round was in a few hours so most of the team headed out into Atlanta with Mrs. Kinney and other adults. Ross, Matt, Jeremy, Mr. George, Mr. Petrovic, and I stayed back to just stay with the robot and just kinda chill. We didn't really have anything to do with the robot cuz it was working but Matt worked on the autonomous mode more and got that working as best we could. So the rest of the team came back and we just kinda chilled and didn't really do anything until the next practice round. When we got it back we did our normal tests, fixed anything that was broken and packed up for the day.

Pits opened at a reasonable hour this morning and we get ready for the opening ceremonies. We do our normal tests on the robot and get it set for our first match of the day. Matt spent most of his time programing the robot and seeing if he could get the autonomous mode working the way we wanted it to. Throughout the day we had about 4 matches that we did respectably in. After the last match we fixed the robot again and then packed up the pit before we left.
We had the night to ourselves again and just kinda chill and do whatever we wanted. Some groups went to a little dinner that had wicked good cake. We had our nightly meeting and headed back to our rooms to get a good nights rest before the last day of competition.

Pits opened again at the same time and we all got ready for our last few matches of the day. Because so much time was spent the day before fixing the robot there wasn't much wrong with it. So the robot's ready to go and we just hung around the pit and chilled until the drive team came to get the robot. Then all but 2 members of the pit crew head up to the stands to watch the match. The robot came back after this match and there wasn't much wrong with it. In fact about the only thing wrong with it was the bumpers that we had put on kept moving and we had to secure them again. We do our normal systems check and get ready for the last match of the day. The drive team came and we again left 2 people to "guard" the pit. We headed into the arena to watch the match. When the robot came back again we fixed it up and made sure everything was good to go just in case we got picked for an alliance.
We didn't so we cleaned up the pits and headed back up to watch the final matches of the day. After about an hour of trying Mr. P and Mr. G get the robot packed into the broken crate by using a few team buttons and some screws. The pit got packed and ready for shipping.
About an hour after the awards ceremony the team party began. It was wicked fun. They had carnival games and music and food and free arcades. It was ridiculously fun and the food was alright. At about 9:00 they had fireworks that were good. They had huge slides like the one we get in the summer for the Midway and lots of other ginormous blow up "rides" all in Centennial Park. So after the party we had our annual team meeting and headed back to our rooms to get some sleep before our busy day.

We wake up and make sure we have everything packed and get ready to leave Atlanta to go home. We get to the airport and have time before we actually have to get on the plane so we get food and eat a good breakfast. OMG the plane was HUGE. We finally get into the air and have a good time just goofing around. The group around me colored trolls and Barbie. Others just chilled and listened to music. Near the end of our flight our group had our music loud and was having a "dance party." It was wicked fun. So we wait around for awhile in Boston for the buses and just kinda chill around Logan. We get on the busses and head back to Merrimack after a very fun week.

If anyone else who actually say Atlanta would like to say anything feel free cuz I know I missed alot. I never really went into Atlanta.

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linkage and journal entries... [09 May 2004|09:05pm]

Just so that everybody knows, I'm adding a link to this LJ on the chop shop site! Hopefully that way more of our teammates will notice and possibly join.

Also, seeing as you are all extremely capable journal-entry authors...

Seeing as I've written all of the entries on our team blog so far, I think it would be good if some other people started getting involved with it! So, I'm offering a call to arms of sorts... if anybody will take up the challenge of writing an entry detailing (okay, you don't have to go into *that* much detail, but at least a little would be good) Nationals and what's gone on since then, you get full posting access to the blog on the main site and can help me write up other stuff in the future.

Anybody up for it?
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[08 May 2004|10:31am]

Hi everyone,
Some of you know me and others I met briefly at the BAE Regional! Well, for those of you who know me, you may know that Pam George (Anne's sister) and I are doing a walk for breast cancer this summer and we need to raise money. A great way for us to do that is by holding a car wash. Well, Pam and I are only 2 people and we'd need plenty more to do a car wash. So, I was thinking about who we could ask to help us, and I thought, hmmmm maybe the FIRST team would like to help. It'd look great for Chairman's. Anyway, this isn't definitely happening, I just wanted to know if you'd be interested. We could either share the profits with you in some way, or if you want to donate them to us, I will put a thank you to the team on the shirt that I'm wearing for the three day walk, thus letting everyone on the walk, and anyone who sees the pictures know that you supported us. As I said, this isn't even happening yet, I just wanted some input from you before any final decisions were made. I thought that it would be something unique to put on Chairman's, not only do you involve yourself in everything FIRST, but you help raise money for Breast Cancer research as well. Anyway, it was just a thought, and I want to know your feedback on it. Ask other members of the team if you can too! Thanks everyone, you're all wonderful and I miss you tons.
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[08 May 2004|09:40am]

[ mood | accomplished ]

So this is the first entry of Team 166's livejournal. It's here to keep track of our team's events through the year because it makes Chairman's easier to do at the end of the year. So, once we've had an event we'll post it here and if you were there it'll be greatly appreciated if you post something that you liked about the event so we can possibly use quotes. Oh, and please sign your name at then end of you first comment we'll be able to use quotes and also recognize each other's livejournal names. :)

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