Beta Test Demo in New York City
On Friday, December 12th, we set out to New York City for our FRC Control System Beta Test Presentation. Early in the morning, we packed up Mr. Bischoping’s van and Mr. Rees’ car and then headed off to the big city. After a long five and a half hours we could finally see New Your City. Mr. Bischoping was in front with the GPS and we followed in Mr. Rees’ car. Just as we were getting closer to the city, we missed our turn that would have taken us to the Lincoln tunnel and right into mid town Manhattan, instead we ended up on the south end of the island and come out of the Holland tunnel in Greenwich village. We drove around in circles for about ten minutes because Mr. Bischoping’s GPS took too long to load, so Mr. Rees & Rob decided they could do a better job of getting us to the hotel than the GPS. Sure enough we took the lead and found ourselves in front of the hotel in no time.
We checked in around 3PM and had the rest of the day to do some sightseeing. First, we walked down to Times Square, then down Broadway to go and see the Empire State Building but the line was two hours and we didn’t feel like waiting that long. Then we walked back uptown to Rockefeller plaza and saw the Christmas Tree instead. It was starting to get late so we went off to the ESPN zone to have dinner. By the time we came out of dinner, there were millions of people in times square so we felt it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for our presentation.
Saturday December 12th it's time for our big presentation. We got up early and went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast and then set off to the presentation. Wow, NYC is completely different early in the morning. We drove down Park Ave around Grand Central Station and down to presentation site. At the event, we unloaded the robot, registered with security, and were brought up to the presentation room.
The presentation went great, there were hundreds of kids and mentors from all around NYC, Long Island and NJ. We started with an overview of the various components, the setup, and connection to the new components. We held a question and answer period where all participants could come up and look at the new electronics and ask questions. The participants were very grateful to get the opportunity to take some notes, pictures and ask some questions. We finished up with a demonstration on how to program the robot and download code. We thanked the crowd for giving us the chance to come to the big city and show them the new controls.
Shortly after one it was time to head home. We were all looking forward to getting back home but not the six-plus hour drive home. It was a long two days but well worth it. I can’t wait to go back to NYC again.
Bottles and Cans for Pajamas
While bottle and can drives are usually meant to help raise fund for our team, this time, FIRST® Team 340 decided to collect bottles to buy pajamas for foster kids. We set bottle collections around the Finger Lakes Regional and were able to buy over 30 pairs of pajamas for the kids
Team 340 members have helped with this event since its inception as runners, traffic control, parking attendants and registration. Daniel’s 5K is an event to honor the memory of Daniel Myslivecek, a student at Churchville-Chili High School who passed away on July 12th, 2006 after battling Melanoma for almost three years. The proceeds from this year’s race will towards the Matthews Hope project. Matt St. James was a former Cross-Country and track and field athlete who went on to attend Roberts Wesleyan College. During his senior year on March 14th, 2007, he collapsed while doing a track workout. He suffered severe brain damage and has been living at Monroe Community Hospital. This project is designed to help redesign the St. James home so Matthew can finally come home. The race will begin at 9:30 am on Sunday, April 11th, at Fairbanks Road Elementary School.
The FIRST Lego League Regional Championship was held at the University of Rochester and was a great opportunity for our team members to volunteer for a FIRST event. Also, this FLL Qualifying Event was put on by our team. This allowed the team members, who were not involved in FLL to obtain perspective about FLL. Students were assigned a variety of jobs at the event, which were to get FLL teams to their assigned rooms on time, time keepers, and floaters, including team ambassadors. Many of our students volunteered at other FLL and FIRST events after this.
FLL Qualifier Tournament at Churchville
Due to the explosion of FLL teams in the local area. The format of Rochester FLL Competition had to change by multiplying qualifying events to accommodate all the teams. We hosted the largest qualifying event in Upstate New York, providing all the volunteer support, judging, and coordination. We ventured into uncharted territory and loved it.
Lions Fair Booth Demo and 5K Walk
At the Churchville Lions Country Fair, the team had a running demo all weekend in our own booth, and through our increasing connections with the Churchville Lions Club, also organized and executed the 5K Walk around Churchville as a fundraiser. In the booth, thousands of people either saw, chose to drive, or simply obtain information about FIRST and Team 340. Also, by organizing the 5K, numerous community members became acquainted with our robotics programs, and contributed to them as well.
NYSCATE Riverside Convention Center Demo
NYSCATE (The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education), is a non-profit, professional organization representing more than 2,000 technology using educators and administrators in New York State. NYSCATE is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and cooperates with such partners as the New York State Education Department, state and national educational organizations, private sector corporations, and publishers to further the use of technology in our schools. NYSCATE is involved in helping define statewide policy regarding the use of technologies in education( taken from the NYSCATE website). Team GRR spent two days demoing our robot at the Riverside Convention Center, where the 2009 meeting was held. There were many organizations representing what they had to offer educators. A Churchville Chili graduate, who is now a Principal, took a turn at the controls. Two of our students were filmed for a “schooltube” about FIRST.
Out Reach Day at the Beach
On a beautiful sunny summer day, GRR students helped out at Maggie Brooks Salute to Senior Day. We helped senior citizens out of their buses and directed/wheeled them to their pavilions. As they enjoyed the wonderful weather and music, we delivered lunches to them. It was nice to spend the day at Ontario Beach, Everyone had a great time!
Rochester Museum and Science Center Demo
Throughout the months of July and August 2008, GRR students did a series of demos at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The students were able to introduce many young people to FIRST through their use of their 2008 FRC robot and various vex robots. The demos were a huge success and reached out to many students who were in the Rochester area and many who came from outside of state. GRR students did such a wonderful job that in 2009 they and several other FRC teams were able to participate in the demo again.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing
Our team volunteered for bell ringing in the month of December to help out the community. We stood there ringing bells and greeting customers to the mall in hopes that they would donate money to the Salvation Army and to people in need. It was cold but we had a blast helping our community.
Every year, a week before schools over, the Churchville-Chili senior high school has a field day- complete with blow up rides, games and awesome robots! We enjoyed the day showing off our robot to our 1000+ fellow students and teaching them about FIRST.