Monday January 24

The team is now dividing into subgroups regularly. Each team has an inventor to display its contribution. At the next meeting we will see what everyone has come up with so far.

Rising seniors have picked their classes today, so I would like everyone to look into taking Physics Engineering next year. Though they recommended you be at least a sophomore. The class will go hand-in-hand with one another and serves as a study hall during the rigorous Build Season. See Mr. Ence for more information. They need at least 30 students to make it happen.

Saturday Meeting and FTC Competition (Annandale)

Today the Robotics team divided into subgroups and worked on their part of the FRC robot.

In other news, Herndon High’s FTC group (Team 519) participated in the NOVA competition in Annandale. We started with some technical difficulties, but we overcame them. It was not enough to make it to the top so we focused on learning from this event. It was a great opportunity to make friends, learn strategy, and add to our button collection. With this said and done we are now focusing on the minibot design. The next meeting is on Monday January 24 at 6 p.m. Mr. Koca said we will have a recap and then we are off to work. Get ready!

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!

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.

Autodesk Student Programs Available

As discussed in several meetings, Autodesk has allowed our team access to several student editions of there programs. These editions are fully functional and have proven to be quite useful throughout build season. Anyone who does not have access to these programs (especially 3ds MAX and AutoCAD Inventor Professional Suite 2011)  should definitely take advantage of this opportunity now.

To get a copy of these programs you will have to first create a student account with Autodesk. To do that please do not click anything on their website, but rather follow this link. This will verify that you are a member of this team, which will eliminate one of the steps of the process.

From there just fill out the form with your information and complete the account setup.

Then you can go to: and pick through plenty of valuable programs and download as you please, but remember you can only download two of the same program so pick wisely which computers you want the programs on.

If you have any questions leave a comment or just shoot an email to Matt

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.

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.

Team116 in the News

An article about the Team was written in the Herndon Connection titled, ‘Mechanically Speaking.’  See it online here or click the image below to view the print version.

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.

Animation Prompt Announcement

Autodesk has just released the details for the 2011 Excellence in Design awards on their website. To see the award criteria, including the prompt for the Animation award, take a look at the Official Rules.

More information and resources, including access to all of the free software downloads, can be found on Autodesk’s Education Community website.