I am working on the speech that I will have to say to the judges at our next FTC competition. Here is my speech on my role in our team:
I am Reese Benonis, single point of accountability for community outreach. What this means is that I am the team’s contact with our community. I have organized events such as presentations for both technical companies such as The Proud Company, a local robotics distribution company, and nontechnical companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, a real estate company. I have also organized events such as attending the Maker Faire, a technology exposition featuring many companies and individuals who work with technology. The most important thing that we continue to do is mentor an all girls FLL team. Every Tuesday, we volunteer our team’s knowledge to their team, helping them program and build their robot. Their team is the “Wonder Women,” and we are their main sponsor. We have helped them to maintain an interest in science and technology because we recognize that there is a need for more women in STEM fields. We have also helped younger kids become interested in STEM by teaching them about propulsion and other engineering related concepts.
I have finished the part list for my computer, it can be found here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Mpcc99
I will be building it during my holiday break, as I will not be receiving a few parts until the 25th or later. I have also been to our first scrimmage for robotics, where we placed in 4th place out of 12 teams. Things seem to be looking good for our team this year, I hope we will be able to make it to the state or super regional competition this year.
I have taken on an even more essential role in my team as the head of outreach. As head of outreach, I coordinate the activities and workshops that we attend and run. I have organized many activities so far, including visiting the Maker Faire, mentoring FLL teams, and workshops to teach other teams Computer assisted design, or CAD. I believe that my new role will benefit my team because we will be much more active in our community.
I have decided that I am going to build a computer. I will ask for a few parts for Christmas and buy the rest with my own money. I have begun to flesh out the price and specifications of the computer that I will build. It will be a fairly powerful computer, but still cheap enough that it is cost-effective. It will be roughly $600 and will be equivalent to mid to high range gaming computer.
There are also other aspects to FTC, such as outreach. The outreach portion of the competition involves reaching out to your community to promote FTC and engineering. You have to promote interest in STEM and FTC to many people. Our team has done this by mentoring some younger students in another robotics competition, First Lego League. Members of our team go every week to Snapology to mentor younger students interested in robotics or STEM.
FTC, or First tech Challenge, is a competition where teams build robots to complete specific challenges, and then at a competition are paired with another team, their alliance partner. Each alliance will face another alliance in a competition to see who can do the most challenges in the most time-efficient way. The challenge for each year is given to the teams in late September, with the first competition being in late December to early January. The competitions consist of a few matches, and the top few teams move on to the semifinals. The winners of the semifinals move on to finals, and then the winner there along with a few other teams move on to the state competition. After the state competition is the the super-regional competition, and after that is the world competition.
I have been focusing more on my academic studies than on the Smart Desk recently. I have continued to participate in my out of school technology pursuits, as they are less demanding and allow me to have more time to focus on grades. I have been working as the outreach leader on my robotics team, helping with our online and community presence. I have organized our team’s mentorship of the First Lego League robotics teams at Snapology as well. We have been more and more busy lately with our deadlines not being met on time.
During my fourth week at the SMART Desk, I have noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of tickets from the previous few weeks. The ISTE Standards that I have applied this week are the third and fourth standards. I have used the third standard in figuring out how a RAID Array is possible on usb flash drives. I have used the fourth standard in my out of school FTC Robotics team. We have visited the Maker Faire, a convention of local 3D Printer retailers and people who create things on their own. I saw people who were blacksmiths, robotics engineers, builders of engines, and basically innovators from all over Pittsburgh.
Not much has occurred this week, and I have not had much to do technology-wise, but I have been working with my sister’s FLL (First Lego League) Mindstorms Robotics team out of school. I have also been busy with schoolwork and rowing, so I have not had much spare time.
During my second week of the SMART Desk, I have come to know and love the class even more. I have used creativity to fix some interesting problems, such as devices not connecting to the Internet. I have also used communication to relay information through our ticket system, both to the teacher with a problem and to my fellow SMART Desk students. I have also used my problem solving and quick thinking skills to find solutions to student walk-up problems.