Coach’s Corner

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The Robo Vikes have been a busy group these past several weeks!  On February 20, the students bagged the robot just a few minutes before 12:00 EDT which is the FIRST deadline for all teams to stop building their robot.  The team built an amazing robot which has the ability to draw in a cube, elevate a shooting mechanism and then shoot the cube over 6 feet into the air so that it can land on the scale in the Power Up game this season.  This is the most complex robot that our students have ever built.

This is the first year that we have had several students who were trained in our new CAD class.  The students learned how to use the Solidworks CAD program.  This is also the first year that our students were able to fabricate parts cut from our new CNC router.

The day after Bag & Tag, about 12 students went to the Fort Worth History and Science Museum to help promote Engineering Week and S.T.E.M.   The students demonstrated the robot to hundreds of elementary students as well as assisted young students in using miniature robots.  It was a great day.

Robot Reveal Video – Click Here

Assistant Coach Benny Araujo and team President Alejandro Araujo have spent a lot of time and effort reaching out to Rockhouse, a school for handicapped students.  The students came to visit our school and see our shop.  The Araujos are working to start a small engineering program for these students.

The team competed in the Dallas Regional at the Irving Convention Center on March 2-4.  The Robo Vikes ended up ranked 15th out of 60 teams.  We ended up being the 8th seed alliance captain.  We competed against two world class robots and unfortunately lost in the elimination round, but not without a fight.  Our alliance was ahead for most of the second match before finally being out-scored in the last seconds.  The drive team of Alejandro Araujo, Will Bice, Nate Schmidt and Dan Luong competed hard.  Christina Cross was the Pit Master.

Our Chairmen’s Team, headed by Victoria Benkowski learned a lot from this first regional.  Jordan Schwartz headed up the scouting guided by Adrianna Araujo.  They also learned a lot in preparation for our next regional.

The students learned a lot from competition.  They plan to redesign our grabbing mechanism and to switch from belt drive to chain drive.  This is an ambitious undertaking.  Go Robo Vikes!

I want to give a shout out to all of the parents and mentors who have given so generously of their time.  Mike Crance, Kevin Laperriere, Chris Eggleston, Benny Araujo, Mark Stranczek, Ron Clapp, Antonio Araujo and Bob Benkowski devote hundreds of hours in the evenings.  I also want to thank Terry and Tracy Cross for driving the trailer with our robot and equipment back and forth to the convention center.  I also want to thank Julian Ermish, Liz Dominguez, Suzie Fitzgibbons, Consuelo Araujo, and Gilberto and Claudia Morales for all the time they have spent supervising and chaperoning for the team.

Next stop is San Antonio and the Alamo Regional April 4-7.  We hope to be very competitive.  Go Robo Vikes!

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