30 October 2008

Response to "last minute" request

Some observations that are worth noting...

First, this team has a habit of not responding to posts that request assistance or presence at an event. They simply show up, which, by itself is a good thing, but in the grand scheme of things, isn't a desirable characteristic. What happens is that the organizer of the event can't adequately plan it with regard to staffing, thus the planner is relegated to last minute changes to accomodate those who do show up. We really need to fix this...

Mrs. Reich put out a message on the group as a test to see just who reads them and take action upon the request. This one was pretty simple... reply, and receive a chocolate bar. There were a good number of replies, but the disappointing thing was there were few rookie respondants. Hopefully, those who didn't read and respond to the post will learn.

Anyway, last night, we spent about 2 hours resetting the hallway storage closet. When the announcement was made on Tuesday, a few couldn't make it because of prior commitment and so stated that. Two veterans and a rookie showed up, which turns out to have been just the right number. Work proceeded at a brisk, but unhurried pace and we were able to put the closet back into shape in less than 2-1/2 hours.

All in all, a profitable night...

This is going to be an awesome season...

27 October 2008

What to do with all these people???

Yesterday, we pulled PM on our closets. Not as massive a task as last year's but it illustrated something that may well be a problem this season and highlighted the importance of good training.

The problem is the sheer number of team members who showed up to assist. Almost every rookie showed up, at least every rookie who's pledged an allegiance to mech or electrical/controls. That translates to quite a crew, and with only Mrs. Reich and myself to provide adult leadership, we were stretched rather thinly. Captains helped, but one had to head home to attend to homework assignments. It indeed was a learning experience for all.

When we attacked the tool carts, it be came clear that many of them don't know much about tools and therefore the importance of maintaining a complete set of them. This clearly illustrates the value that the mech training will have to instill good habits with regard to tools, use, care and maintenance thereof. What yesterday also illustrates is that the rookies have indeed an intense desire to be on the team. They're wide-eyed and pumped up, excitement is thick in the air. We need to channel that energy in a profitable way. That's the challenge for the team leads, with the help of the mentors.

We ran out of time, and didn't get to all three cabinets and tool carts, but we made a significant dent in the task at hand. With River Rage looming ahead, we have to assemble our traveling tool cart this coming Thursday.

24 October 2008

Where are we? Where are we going??

Last night. quite the collection of people, for sure.

Training is in progress for Mech/Electrical, Software and ProE, the school was buzzing with a crowd of people last night. There are so many newbies, I have asked that they wear name tags until I can learn (and remember) who they all are.

Animation is meeting on a different night and have 6 students this year. It was good to see the veterans teaching what they learned over the past years.

That's the way it should be.

10 October 2008

Training has begun...

So, things are again moving forward.

Last night, most of the Mech/Electrical team were present to participate in training. They shared the space with the S/W crew, but didn't cause undue problems.

What was most interesting is that the s/w veterans were doing most, if not all, of the training, thus allowing the mentors to concentrate on more pressing matters.

What has transpired, however, is that the licenses we need for Pro/E have yet to be renewed. This has been a stopping point, we have no way at this juncture to do anything since the software won't allow use with the expired license.

Will we be relegated to using Autodesk's Inventor??

Time will tell.

02 October 2008

1st event with new team members...

Well, Team 166 participated in the Town's business expo, and although the we

ather didn't cooperate, we had a great time. Several rookies were there and learned to drive Atlas. They got a first-hand look at how this team comes together, has fun being together and makes an impact wherever theygo.

We're holding a Segway raffle, the proceeds of which will be used to purchase a trailer to haul the robot and tools and whatever else we need for whatever event we attend. Soon, "The Enterprise" will not be available for the team to use. Not that I am planning on turning tail and leaving, but it makes sense if there's more than one way to move the team and its stuff.

So, at the event, the students took turns slowly plying the event's three main venues in the old middle school. Carrying tickets and sporting a sign saying "Ask me about the Segway raffle" they managed to sell more than $650 in tickets.

What a deal, win a Segway, $5495 MSRP for the price of a ticket -- $5!

Prior to the event, T166 used their VEX hardware to build a Wall-E lookalike, which attracted many visitors, young and old. Sitting along the rope fence, they would watch and giggle when he fell over, and were surprised to find that Wall-E could right himself and continue along.

We also managed to gain two new team members, both females... another who wants to do animation and the other wants to do the Chairman's award. I think that makes the number of new members sum to 18.

Another thing I noticed is that the veterans have indeed stepped up to fill the void left by the graduating seniors. What seemed to be shaping up as a more challenging season, has been changed to a season of possibilities and new adventure.