Friday, October 27, 2017

Upcoming Outreach Events

Hi Guys!

We need to figure out some plans for our upcoming signature programs:

1. Hour of Code - we typically do this during lunch and sixth period, going to each elementary site to facilitate the hour of code for all students in K through 5th grade.  We were thinking of going during the two weeks right after Thanksgiving break, as this would be closest to the nationwide push for Hour of Code. Can you all think about your availability for these two weeks and let's talk about it on Monday to see if that will work for this year?

2. Super Science Saturday (November 11) - it's coming in TWO WEEKS!  We need all hands on deck for this, our signature program!  If there is a work-station that you really enjoy running, please comment here with a quick description of what it is so others know what you're taking and so we can see what we've got covered and what needs to be done still.

3. Dash and Dot plus more (tbd) - we need to figure out when you guys are available to visit individual classrooms to help teachers use and become comfortable with Dash and Dot.  These won't be whole school visits, but more like the 1 hour at a time in a small class setting like we did in the spring.  Because of the smaller target audience, we can be a little more flexible with our time for visiting. When we meet on Monday, please have in mind if you can participate (transportation and school work load-wise) and what days and times would be best for your schedules.

4. Engineers Week (February 19-23) - still a ways away, but keep in mind, we like to do an assembly at each school site, and with Tompkins, we did an evening program.  We are going to be working with the sites this month to make sure we are on their schedules for E-Week in February.

5. Mentoring to other teams - we have a few rookie or really new teams that we are trying to support this year.  I'd like to have a student liaison for each team to help us keep in touch and be the point of contact for those teams. If you are interested in being the "face" of FIRST Team 585 for another team, please let us know so we can get those connections made and relationships started.

You guys are awesome! It's so great to work with an enthusiastic and committed group like all of you Cyber Penguins!  Keep up the good work and I will see you tomorrow (at the Quarter Auction) or on Monday at Junior Robotics!

-- Mrs. E

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Junior Robotics planning for 10/16

Hello team!

We had an outstanding day today!  All of the Inspire kits for FLL Jr. arrived and Morgan, Toby, Justin, and Julian worked with me to make sure that all of our Junior Robotics teams had their bins loaded appropriately.  Your bins now have their official team numbers on the sides and the "temporary" numbers that we had given you at the start of the program (so you don't wonder where on Earth your bin has gone).

All of your kiddos now have their official Engineering Notebook (Yay! No more photocopies!), so make sure you get your kids names on their books, first thing.  We also printed and distributed the instructions for building the pump and for attaching a motor.  Now, the instructions show using a WeDo 2.0 motor for driving the pump, but remember, each of your totes contains the simple battery box and gray motor that we have used with LEGOs for years.  Use that "unsmart" motor and battery box to control the pump so that you can use the WeDo 2.0 to find a way to convey the "water" from the pump to a reservoir of some sort that is located at least 6" away.

After today's session, we will have only two meetings left until the Expo at Super Science Saturday.  Remember, you have a LEGO model to build and a tri-fold display about your team's learning process.  Make sure you are talking about these two deliverables so the kids are ready to work on them for the last two meetings.

Can't wait to see all the cool stuff you guys build!  Check out the tote video from our Snapchat feed today! Snapchat Video of FLL Jr. totes.

-- Mrs. E

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Junior Robotics Week 2

Hi everyone! We are heading into our second week of Junior Robotics and I couldn't be more excited! Our meeting is tomorrow from 5 to 8 and we will feed you beforehand. We have our hands full this year with 14 FLL Jr. teams, 6  FLL teams and 1 FTC team so we need all the help we can get.

For all FLL Jr. mentors, here is the lesson plan for tomorrow's meeting and here is a YouTube video of me explaining the lesson plan.

This year our FLL Jr. teams finish at 7:30 which is a half an hour earlier than the FLL teams. Some of the students on the FLL Jr teams have siblings on the FLL team so they have to wait for their siblings to finish. It would be nice to have something to entertain them while they wait. I need someone to volunteer to keep the remaining FLL Jr. students busy. I will have something planned for them to do. Please contact me if you are interested.

I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow.

- Rocky

Thursday, September 21, 2017

HP Sprout Training Coming Up!!!

This weekend I will be attending a training hosted by HP who has partnered with FIRST to provide this opportunity to learn how to use the HP Sprout Computer. I'm very excited for this since we secured a grant with the Air Force Research Lab to bring HP Sprout computers to all the elementary schools in our district. Now we will be able to work hand-in-hand with teachers and students teaching them all the creative new ways to use this AWESOME computer.

Through the ENSPIRE grant, we received two HP Sprout Computers, two 3D printers, 12 WeDo 2.0s, and 6 Dash Dot robots for each of our local elementary schools. This opens many doors for us in promoting STEM throughout our community, enabling us to bring these resources directly to the youth. This compliments our existing Hour of Code program by providing us with hands-on technology and resources to use during our school visits.  I am SO VERY EXCITED to be able to learn more about this awesome technology so that I can train our Outreach team to infiltrate the elementary schools with the knowledge and skills that we gain!

Fall Robotics is in Full Swing!

Open registration for Junior Robotics closed on Monday, September 18th, with our Monday Night Meetings hosting 80 students in FLL Jr., 36 in FLL, and about 12 in FTC.  Golden Hills has continued their three FLL teams and will compete in the Central Valley Region with us this year. Cummings Valley has also launched their own teams, started two FLL Jr. and two FLL teams.  All of these teams are run and mentored by our team members, led by Rocky for FLL Jr., Chloe for FLL, and Adam for FTC.

It takes a lot of time and commitment to run these teams and we are so proud of all our team members who can dedicate their time and effort towards shepherding the next generation of Cyber Penguins!  

Along those lines, it's not too late to volunteer to help out.  We can definitely use more student volunteers to help lead the teams.  Additionally, adult mentors are appreciated and valued!  Just contact us through the team email for more information!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Getting Ready for Our First Day of Junior Robotics

Hello everyone!

The time has come, registration ends tonight and we will launch our third year of Junior Robotics!  Just as a recap, we started this in 2015 with 15 kids making up three FLL  Jr. teams that met at our high school.  In 2016, that ballooned to over 140 kids in 12 FLL Jr. teams, 7 FLL teams, and 1 FTC team meeting at our high school and one of our feeder elementary schools!  We don't expect another huge amount of growth, but that still requires a lot of teamwork and dedication, so I am so glad that you are with us to make the 2017 Junior Robotics program our best yet!

Monday will be a little crazy while we get the kids into their teams and collect their paperwork.  Our overall plan is to get to know our kids, come up with a team name and start learning about the challenges before us.  We will get into the meat of playing with LEGOs and designing robots at next week's meeting.  Chloe and I will both be there on Monday to give you more details and help you get ready for running your teams.  See you then, and thanks again for being a part of this awesome program!

- Rocky