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.

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

FIRST FRC Kickoff!

Kickoff is scheduled for 09:00, January 8 in the HHS Lecture Hall. Students are expected to attend and mentors are encouraged. This is an open event – parents, siblings, school administrators, and all others are welcome too! Light breakfast will be provided by team members.

For those coming to the DC kickoff event, please be at the Drama room entrance at 07:50, Jan 8! Students going – remember to bring a completed Consent Release form or register at STIMS!

Please remember to download the encrypted game manual from here: After noon on Kickoff day, you will receive a key to unlock the game manual and review it before Stubots on Sunday. Predownloading this manual version relieves some stress of the server(s) hosting the manual.

Encrypted game manual is available

The manual (and a decryption test, so you can practice to be sure you know how to do it) can be found here:

Game hints

The second game hint was released on Tuesday, January 4. Find both at this page:

And the Chief Delphi discussion of the second hint here:

Next meeting, Jan 4

Happy New Year to everyone! Our next team meeting will be at the shop on Tuesday, Jan 4. Please remember your trip deposits as described here. Meeting details are also described in that post.

Next meeting and trip payments

Our next official meeting will be Jan 4 2011 at the shop! We’ll be presenting Fall projects and preparing for kickoff on Saturday, Jan 8 2011.

If you have not brought trip deposits, they are required at the next meeting! The amounts for each trip are as follows:

DC – $50
New Orleans – $100
BOTH – $150

Writing a check? Make it out to “Herndon High School.” In the subject line, write “Robotics trip deposit for _________” (fill in student’s name).

Armstrong outreach

We had a great outreach session today at Armstrong Elementary. The kids were engaged and asked many questions as well as having fun with the squarebots. The teachers at Armstrong were also very pleased, asking about Jr FLL and how they could get some more robotics into their elementary school programs.

All-in-all a great showing of HHS and our team. Thanks to all who helped us organize and make this a success!