Team (parents, students and fellow mentors)
With build season around the corner, I just wanted to give our team a heads-up on what to expect, and information about who to contact with questions.
Please contact Steve Londeau (1-734-272-7004). He has all the appropriate documents to give sponsons, as well as the ability to schedule demos etc.
Agendas and Meeting Information
Please contact Bernadette Storts (810-834-9586). She will have all the information regarding agendas and competition hotels, as well as the most important question on Saturday… ”What’s for dinner” (DO NOT ASK JON). For food on the weekends, we ask all parents take turns providing the two meals on Saturday, and the one meal on Sunday. This makes it easy for the students and mentors. Whether it’s home cooked, or a parent buying the pizza, it helps keep us on track.
If you have questions about which parts we need for building, or about tool donations, please feel free to contact me, Jon Uren (810-338-8601). Over the last couple of years we have standardized fasteners, motors, and the tools we use to make it easy, quick and safe to build the robot.
Build Season Meeting Information
We will be meeting weekly:
If school is cancelled, there will be robotics except in extreme conditions. However, if you feel it is unsafe to drive, please feel free not to attend. Most of the time, the roads are plowed and cleared before our 6pm meeting time.
To receive the latest information about changes to the meeting schedule, please sign up for our Remind 101 mass text, which is how I communicate schedule changes to the team.
Please note that meeting times are approximate, because there will be nights when we lose track of time. Because of this, we strongly encourage students to complete their homework before robotics, or to bring it with them to meetings. Robotics meetings do not excuse students from their school responsibilities.
As an adult who works full time, then attends robotics meetings afterwards to volunteer (just like many of our mentors and parents), I understand this schedule may seem crazy. However, it is necessary in order to build a robot in only six weeks. I understand not everyone will be able to attend every meeting, which is fine. But, just like other sports (or their future work places), students will get out of this program exactly what they put into it. Students that attend the majority of meetings, and who are there to help are more likely to be promoted, or to be given unique responsibilities.
I joined this team my 8th grade year, I graduated high school in 2009 and took over coaching 2012.
I have seen some amazing students, parents, and mentors come and go. None of these individual things make the team great though. A even balance of parent help, the hard work of mentors, and the motivation of the students to learn and create, makes this team great. So I just want to thank you for taking the time to read this and, more importantly, taking the time to help us keep this team running at peak performance!
Coach of Team 1684
Our Chimera girls ready to compete! (plus one random male team member who had to sneak in there!)
Trista, Sydney, Alicia, EliAna, Sam and Grace
What a fun day!! This was a girls only competition which we were really happy to be a part of.
We had a male driver this year (he's up above photobombing the girls' pic) so two all girl drive teams were formed for this event. They did great, finishing 7th after all qualifying matches!
Moved onto the finals in an alliance with teams 2337, 3538 and 5084. Went as far as the semi finals until we were eliminated by another alliance.
For first time drivers, these girls did fantastic and as a team we couldn't be more proud of them!
Such a fun event and we'll be looking forward to hopefully participating in it again next year!
It was a beautiful fall day for the event! We had runners & walkers from all over. Some local and some driving quite a distance to participate. We enjoyed meeting each of you!
Also nice to see members from fellow FRC teams - Team 6086 Ignition and Team 2137 TORC coming out to support us!
It takes a lot to run a FIRST robotics team and we couldn't do it without the generous support from others! So we appreciate each of you who took time out of your Saturday to be a part of our event!
We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!
Photo Gallery of the event uploaded to Flickr - Click HERE to see the album. (more pics added as we get them)
Race Results have been uploaded to the Race Entry website - Click HERE
A few pics from race day! Full gallery at link above on Flickr.
This weekend is our Run for Robots 5K run/walk fundraiser!! It's at 5pm in Rowden Park in Lapeer, MI (across from the hospital).
We are looking forward to seeing everyone! We'll have some robots there for everyone to see of course!
Click HERE for more info.
Can't make the date, but would still like to help out our team? There is a fundraising option on the race registration website. Just follow from the link above. We appreciate ALL levels of support!
We have a Robot Demo planned for October 22nd at Past Tense in Lapeer during their fall festival. We will be on stage at 4:30pm that Saturday to talk about what we do, show our 2016 robot and let the public interact with it as well. The VEX IQ teams will be there also to show their robots.
So come on out to see us and enjoy Past Tense while there! Info for their festival click HERE.
ALL GIRLS ROBOTICS COMPETITION!
We are set to compete in November at the All Girls Robotics Competition in Bloomfield Hills. Our 2016 FRC robot gets to play one more time on the Stronghold field, but this time manned only by the girls on our team! Boys only get to cheer them on.
Can't wait to see how our amazing girls do on Saturday, November 12th! More details to come!
Even though it's our off-season we've been pretty busy!
Fundraising events, side projects, learning or brushing up on our skills, training new team members, organizing our room, helping with new youth robotics teams and some fun volunteering as well!
Our coach had given us a project to build a catapult and it ended up being boys vs. girls! The girls started out with a traditional prototype and the boys decided to use pneumatics and our 2016 practice bot base. They will need to be able to launch pumpkins for a fun "Pumpkin Chunkin" after our 5K event. So the challenge has been in progress!
The girls have been holding secret meetings, so pictures are unavailable! Haha!
A few other side projects have been creating a football shooter with our mentor Matt, learning the machines with Rob, programming with Tony and working on a VEX EDR robot for competition in December.
New youth robotics teams started this week as well in our room. We are happy to be able to support them and allow them to use our space. It's also good for them to see what they can do in the future with robots with the skills they learn! A few of our team's mentors started the new VEX IQ teams call the Chimichangas. This is a play off our own name (Chimeras). We tend to have our name mispronounced a lot and a few people started giving us nicknames and Chimichangas was one of them. So although technically it's fried burritos, they like to think of themselves as mini Chimeras with extra spice in their fire! (since Chimeras are a fire-breathing mythical beast)
We hope they do well and will mentor them as needed. You can visit their Facebook page HERE for updates!
Over the weekend we went to an off season FRC competition at Kettering University. Friday was fun with mentor matches in which our team of mentors came in second! Way to go Jon Uren & Matt Wagner! This was a blast for the team to watch the adults play the game.
Saturday was the competition. Unfortunately we were plagued with radio and programming issues, something that has been an issue off and on all season. Thankfully we had a bit of outside help and were able to correct the problems eventually. (our programmer this year had graduated and was gone to college, we are now training new team members!) However, our issues left us with low ranking points, but our performances after correcting problems still led us to be picked by the number one seed alliance for the eliminations! This was a shocker for us and made what was kind of a bummer day into an amazing one! We made it into the semi-finals with Teams 27 & 67.
Overall it was a really fun weekend and we were happy to play the game again and see the other teams! This was the last time many of our team (the boys - girls have an all girl comp in November) got to play the Stronghold competition for the year. We're going to miss this game! Really was a fun to play, watch and build a robot for!
What a season 2016 has been!
Mentor match fun!
1. We know our coach was really in a happy place! 2. One of our seniors from this year made it back in time to help out. Alyssa got to be the mentors drive coach. 3. Neat to be on an alliance with 5460! Tony is a mentor of ours as well! 4. The mentor team focused! 5. Matt from 5460 in action as human player! 6. Gavin helping mentor Matt get the robot ready for a match.
More Kettering Kickoff pics!!
1. Some fun in the pits while trying to solve the radio issues. 2. Sam and Trista pose for a quick pic! 3. A match ending shot from a mentor match. Nice climb Jon! 4. Long day and frustrating day, but smiling faces from EliAna, Will, Sydney and Gavin. 3. Drive team waiting for a match. 5. Chosen by the 1st seed alliance for elims! SO exciting after the rough day we had! 6 & 7. Some fun dancing in the stands with Marshall, Grace, Sam and Trista. 8. Photobombed by the coach! 9. End of the day team pic. Go Chimeras!
Lots of things happening at the Chimera Nest!
During the off season is a perfect time to sharpen our skills and train new members. CAD, programming and learning how to use the machines are just a few of the things we've been practicing lately.
Working on building a VEX robot is a nice shift in gears also. Gets the creative and engineering thoughts flowing!
A few more shots from this week while getting ready for the Kettering event this weekend...
1 - Gavin 1.0 & Gavin 2.0 re-treading a few wheels. 2 - A little fun while working. 3 - Our current operator, Sydney and driver, Gavin giving lessons to Jon & Matt for the mentor matches at Kettering Friday. 4 - EliAna touching up our numbers. 5 - Sydney and Will doing some machining. 6 - Ryan, Donald and Sam working on VEX. 7 - Sydney about to be surprised! 8 - And the 16th birthday girl with her cake! Sydney has been a Chimera since she was 11, hanging around when her older brother and sister were on the team. We proud to have her as one of our own!
RUN FOR ROBOTS 5K RUN/WALK FUNDRAISER!!!
We got down to business this week cleaning up our robotics room and re-organizing. What a job! Team 5460 Strike Zone, whom shared the space with us for the past few years were given their own room at CFI so were able to start making the room our own.
Over the years we've worked out of many different places, large and small, but we are hoping now to have this as our home for quite some time! No more moving! *fingers crossed* We also have enough room for a practice field for other teams to come and use as well, which we are really exited about!
Lots to do and organize, but it's a been another lift in spirits for everyone on the team.
Our team had a lot of fun this past weekend during Lapeer Days running a robot themed Kids Carnival and showing the public our robots!
One thing we really enjoy is spreading the word about robotics to our community. So to see so many kids light up when they were able to interact with our big competition robot or play the VEX IQ game from The Robot Space was priceless!!
We were able to do two robot demonstrations on stage as well to talk about what we do and how being a part of FIRST impacts youth in so many positive ways.
Many thanks to all those who came out, braved the weather and stopped by to support our team! We appreciate our community!
We spent the morning hauling books for our local library's book sale. Along with Team 5460 Strike Zone, we helped move two 18ft Uhaul trailers full of books for the sale. That's probably close to 5000 books ready to be sold to during the Lapeer Days festival! This is something we help them with every year and a good way to give back to our community.
Fun day yesterday for our team! An outing to Spline Academy to do a demonstration for the kids there.
Along with our 2016 FRC robot "Rocky" we brought a VEX IQ game from The Robot Space to help introduce the world of robotics.
Days like this are a real treat for us. Seeing kids light up and be so excited to catch balls being shot from our FRC robot, asking how everything works and having fun with robotics are things we enjoy! Spreading our love of robotics to our communities and youth is something we strive to do!
ROBO-CON 2016 was a blast! A fun-filled day promoting STEM and robotics to our community!
With a full FRC Stronghold field, many teams joined us for a day of competition matches for the public to view. They also helped be a part of kids earning their ROBO Driver's License, by showing them how to control the FRC robots and drive them in a match. Kids then went on to obtain more lessons with LEGO League, FTC, VEX EDR and VEX IQ to complete their license. This was one of the best things about the day for us as we really enjoy sharing our love of robotics with the youth in our community and getting others excited to join!
There were plenty of other things to see and do as well at ROBO-CON...
STEM activities including Snap Circuits as well as building other small circuits, learning to code using Scratch, a planetary walk to learn about our solar system, toy robots to interact with, building a small robot, airplane or catapult to compete with and more! We had underwater robots to view, giant bubbles made from dry ice as well as experiencing virtual reality with Google VR glasses. Also with interactive booths were The Robot Space, Brick it Up LEGO, The LA View and Radio Shack.
It was an amazing event to hold for our community to participate in for free and we are already looking forward to next year!
Huge thanks to all the sponsors who helped make the event happen, businesses that made donations, the FRC teams who joined us and were willing to train young drivers, our community who came out despite the heat to enjoy the event and all the volunteers who put in their time and hard work!
Special appreciation to Elizabeth Lowe for starting ROBO-CON, organizing it all and making it bigger and better each year!
Now that the excitement of the season is over and have gone through some withdrawals from everything that came with it, we are shifting our focus to other areas.
We have started working on building a robot for VEX Robotics Competition. It's on a smaller scale than FRC, but still challenging and keeps our skills and minds sharp! This year's game is called Starstruck. Info here.
During these months and building for VEX, we also take time for each student to go over every area of things we do, like programming, CAD, metal work and other.
Our annual event, ROBO-CON is also coming up soon. It's a free event that along with Team 5460 Strike Zone, we put on every year to promote the world of robotics to the community. This year will include a full size FRC Stronghold field where other teams can come and enjoy it one more time! It's a festival of robotics and STEM learning. It's a fun-filled day for every and free to attend!
For more information visit the ROBO-CON website: www.mirobocon.com/
It's also time for us to focus on fundraising for off season events and next year's build season. Since we are a free-to-play team, we count on the generous contributions from sponsors and donations. It takes a lot to run a robotics team and attend all the competitions!
Working on our VEX robot for this season.
Pictures from our trip to the FRC World Championships
To watch our matches and see scores from this event click here.
Pictures from the Michigan State Championship
Credit to some photos go to photographer Daniel Ernst
To watch our matches and see scores from this event click here.