The second half is the long stretch.

Weeks will feel like years. Days will feel like months. Hours will feel endless. Now we are in the second half of build season, and we have a lot of work to do.

After talking the committee heads, we have decided to focus most of the team’s efforts on the Chairman’s Award. As Mr. Adkin said, we don’t want our award to be some joke; we want it to be as best as we can make it. That means taking it seriously. I’m very disappointed with most of you guys after what happened on Saturday. One of our major goals was to get most of the filming done for the award video and we didn’t get much done. However, we do have a storyboard, which is great news.

But I’m not here to reprimand any of you. We will hopefully be taking some of you out of classes or staying after school with you to record the video for this award. Some of it will be done at my house, yes, but the school is more accessible. Bryan and I will update you with more information either later in the day or tomorrow.

As for sponsors, we are working hard to create an easy way for you all to walk into businesses and talk to the manager about our team and what we’re about, and then ask for money. Again, either later today or tomorrow, I will send out a PDF of the flyer we are using to advertise to managers and will ask each of you to print out (preferably color) a few copies of the flyer for when you are traveling around town and see a store. We will also keep a database of where we have visited to avoid embarrassment.

Also, please go to this link when you have some time to look over the past videos and see what you think we can do:
http://www3.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/chairmans-award-resources%20
Please continue to come up with video ideas, since nothing is perfect and we can always improve.

The Real Meat

So, what happened on Saturday?

Throughout the week, various people were over my house helping out with testing our newer kicker with the 2″ bore air cylinder. We learned something pretty astounding on Saturday: the aluminum bracket that connects the clevis (on the air cylinder) to the kicker arm (piece on bearings on top) is not strong enough to withstand the force that is produced from swinging the arm with air pressure. Hence, the piece snapped in half. Last night we made a new bracket out of steel, which is thicker and should be able to withstand as much force, if not more, as the kicker produces.

James and other members of the team came up with tons of useful ideas regarding the Chairman’s Award video, as well as the flyer and website. Bryan, Zach, and I will be working on the website to provide a donation button and other cool features that you can show your friends.

Bryan and Zach headed the story-boarding team and came up with a fantastic timeline for our video, as well as some quotes we can say. Even though we did not get much of that done on Saturday, we will definitely have it done by the deadline.

Early into the meeting the driver station was finished with the help of a mentor and a few team members. It looks freakin’ amazing. I’m so impressed with the spray painting and layout of the board, which was designed by you guys. That’s one step towards attending competition, and a vital one at that. Bryan helped out by loading competition simulation software on it. We are now able to play around with simulated robots on the computer with the joysticks. Awesome stuff.

Your Responsibility

There are a few things you need to prioritize.

The Chairman’s Award essay did not disappear. Most of you guys helped out aton with writing it, but there’s a lot more past that. We need a few dedicated people to help us edit the award essay and the executive summaries.

We would still like people to come over during the week. That means that you need to reply to this email or text me and let me know what your weekly schedule is so we can have you come over and help.

Again, we’ll try to make plans with everyone who is planning on being in the video to say something about the team and help us win the Chairman’s Award.