All posts by Liz

January 30th through February 6th

This week, the team worked on making up for the lost time due to the snow days. All the subgroups made many improvements, and we now have a welded frame, a moving minibot prototype, and a functional device to pick up the game pieces.

In addition to robot news, the travel plans for the New Orleans trip are being finalized so expect a parent’s meeting about additional payments and details soon. The team has also decided on the two winning button designs. The first is the robot with crossed arms and the second is a little robot with a line about bumpers. We also might be having a FIRST Lego League visiting us on Saturday to see what we do as a team. Hopefully we’ll be inspiring enough to make them want to join the team!

Saturday January 29th, 2011

At today’s meeting we attempted to get back on track after loosing almost a weeks worth of meetings to snow days. In addition to working in the individual subteams, the students voted for the Woodie Flowers Award nominee and the mentors voted for the two Dean’s List award nominees. Our next meeting is Monday January 29th from 12-9 where we will continue to make up for lost time.

Also, if your subteam has not yet sent the BOM to either Dave or Wherley, please turn them in ASAP!

All Fairfax County public schools closed Tuesday January 18

Due to classes being canceled today, we will not be having our meeting tonight. Since this canceled meeting puts us further behind, at our next meeting (Thursday January 20 from 6pm-10pm) we will be having a rolling Critical Design Review so as to be ready to start subsystem construction by Saturday.

Also, please send Dave your BOM/purchase orders as soon as possible so that the parts can hopefully arrive by Saturday at which time the team can begin building.

Finally, everyone who took the third rules test has passed. If you have not yet passed one of the rules tests please be prepared to take it at the next meeting.

Monday January 17, 2011

During today’s meeting the team split up, discussed, and planned for the appropriate parts of the robot in relation to each of the different subteams. We then spent about an hour discussing the Minibot design and deployment. Unfortunately, very few team members attended today’s meeting relative to other meetings. We only have about 5 more weeks of the season so it is crucial that everyone attends as many meetings as possible.

In addition, we do not yet have a specific group of people solely dedicated to the Minibot design. If you are interested, you can send Dave an email or you can tell him at the next meeting. As Dave stressed at tonight’s meeting, the Minibot aspect of the game seems like a simple problem, but is actually much more challenging than it looks so help would be appreciated.

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January  18 from 6pm-10pm. Please do your best to attend.

Thursday January 13th

Today we discussed our ideas from Tuesday’s meeting and attempted to narrow them down to one functional idea per group. Our next meeting is Saturday January 15th from 8am-4pm. At this meeting, we will have a few hours to finalize PDR presentations. After which we’ll make our presentations before and after lunch. Then split into functional subgroups and begin preparations for CDR.

Also, the team took the second of three possible rules tests. If you didn’t pass the test today or were not able to attend the meeting, the third and final test will be given on Saturday. You will be allowed to use your notes so make sure you bring a copy of the manual with you to the meeting. If you have not yet done so, please download the manual at and have it read before the final test.

Monday January 10th

Today was our first Monday meeting of the build season! The team took the first of three possible rules tests. If you didn’t pass the test today or were not able to attend the meeting, the second test will be given tomorrow and will cover material from The Arena Chapter, The Game Chapter, and The Tournament Chapter. If you have not yet done so, please download the manual at and have it read before the meeting tomorrow.  Remember that you must pass one of the three rules tests to stay on the team.

Our next meeting is Tuesday January 11th from 6-10. Unfortunately, there is a forecast for 2-4 inches of snow tomorrow which could cause a cancellation of all FCPS after-school activities. If this is the case, the PDR planning meeting will be on Thursday January 13th from 6-10, and PDR presentation this Saturday.