Category Archives: Build Season

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!

Thursday Jan 27 CANCELED

Due to weather, FCPS has closed schools for Thursday. The next team meeting is this Saturday, Jan 29.

Subgroups should do any extra design work before the weekend meeting. Submit purchase orders and remaining CDR materials ASAP!

Team Update #5 Released

Team Update #5

Updates were made to these sections / rules:

  • 2.2.8 Player stations
  • <G19>, <G21>
  • <R14>, <R22>, <R33>, <R45-D>, <R46>, <R60>, <R92>, <R103>
  • Kit of Parts

Thursday January 20

Today each member went back to their subteam and planned what  they were going to do for the Build Season. FTC had to focus on the Annandale competition. Then we had a 24/7 to allow the team to be up to date. Finally, after an hour, there was a CDR to go over design details and BOMs. Send your purchase orders to Dave and Wherley as soon as possible!
There is still a lot of work to be done so 100% attendance is needed. We have some catching up to do. The next meeting will be Saturday July 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. We will continue CDRs  at 8a and a few groups will start theirs builds.
This Saturday is also the FTC competition at NOVA. We need to be there by 7:15. It will last until about 6 p.m. so try to show up for at least a couple hours if you can. Talk to Mrs. Sowder if you need extra information. Good luck!

Saturday January 15

Every group was able to come up with a robot design and make a presentation to explain it. Afterwards the group had a PDR and the best robot design has yet to be chosen. The third rules test has been given and those who have not taken it should try to as soon as possible.

The next meeting in on Monday January 17, 2010 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. to add detail to the robot design that is to be chosen.

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.

After school and Evening Activities Canceled Tuesday January 11

Due to the snow, all after school and evening FCPS activities are canceled for today. Barring any additional snow days or cancelations, the PDR planning meeting and the second rules test will be on Thursday January 13th from 6-10, and PDR presentation will be this Saturday.

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.

FIRST Design video

Here’s a simple, descriptive video of a ‘Design process’, hosted by Grant Imahara, part of a soon-to-be video series.

In the episode, Grant describes the steps used by Team 111 Wildstang to design, model, and fabricate their 2007 robot’s end effector. This is a great introduction to a FIRST build season!

FIRST Design (part 1) 7:06