Mexico FLL Camp

November 10, 2018 in Outreach by Texas Torque

During the summer of 2018, two Texas Torque members, Ithza and Cristy Lopez, traveled down to Nueva Rosita, Coahuila, Mexico to host the FIRST Lego League (FLL) camp, Construyendo los Ingenieros de Mañana (Building Tomorrow’s Engineers). They borrowed an FLL field and robot materials from Texas Torque as well as books in Spanish from local libraries to encourage reading.

The CIM Robotics camp established itself in Casa Grande in the summer of 2017.
Aimed to spread Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and encourage STEM education equally to boys and girls, the camp was also two of Torque’s team members’ rural hometown.

In 2017, Ithza and Cristy were the sole mentors and only one school was able to participate in the camp. This year, every elementary school in the area was invited. Thirty 4th-6th grade students were accepted from the list of applicants as well as twelve student mentors from local community colleges. Alongside attendance growth, a small library was added to the camp so students would be able to read while participating, during recess, and at home.

At the end of the camp, the Texas Torque representatives hosted a closing ceremony. Local news stations and government, businessmen and women, engineers from the regional association, and a mentor from FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) 6684 RoboCats from Laredo attended the closing ceremony. At the ceremony, special awards were presented for an exemplary mentor and a handful of students who showed outstanding qualities as young engineers.

After the ceremony, Ithza and Cristy provided information on the requirements and benefits of official team formation. Using the information provided, Grupo Mexico has announced it will be sponsoring FLL teams in Nueva Rosita as well as their national network of sites for the 2019 FLL competition season. A private school in Nueva Rosita will also be forming a competitive group of FLL engineers, as well as several public schools in the area seeking sponsorship for teams. Thanks to the efforts of the Lopez sisters, Texas Torque has helped to spread the influence of FIRST on a global level in a town that is close to their hearts.

Concessions

October 6, 2018 in Outreach by Texas Torque

On October 5th, Woodforest Bank Stadium was completely filled for the exciting College Park vs Klein Forest football game. Hundreds of fans cheered for their teams while 36 Texas Torque members provided them with the fuel to do so.

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While mentors took orders and handled the cash registers, students prepped and supplied tasty concessions. Local boy scouts worked alongside our team members to collectively raise money for the Ray Wert Memorial Scholarship. Mr. Wert was a beloved mentor who passed away this past spring, his family donated $1,000 to create a memorial scholarship that was to be given to a student with Mr. Wert’s principles. With the funds raised by these students and mentors, an exemplary member of Texas Torque will receive this scholarship in memory of Mr. Wert’s dedication to his students.

 

In Loving Memory_Wert

2018 Repsol Student Awards

April 13, 2018 in FRC, Outreach, Slideshow by Texas Torque

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On Thursday, April 12, Texas Torque was invited to attend the Repsol Student Awards, an event created by Repsol to recognize students who placed first in any local STEM related school district competition.

We demonstrated our 2018 robot “Bravo”, a version of our bagged competition robot, which we built for drive team practice in our lab. Although the stage space was too small to fully use and extend our robotic arm, we were able to invite NASA Astronaut Dr. Anna Lee Fisher to drive “Bravo” around the stage.

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At the event, Texas Torque members had the opportunity to speak with Dr. John Charles, a NASA researcher and head scientist, Dr. Anna Lee Fisher, a NASA Astronaut and Medical doctor, the president of Repsol, and our school district’s remarkable superintendent Dr. Don Stockton. Both Dr. Charles and Dr. Fisher were kind enough to sign Bravo’s blue bumpers after taking group photos.

A high-achieving local FLL team 983 had also been invited to the Repsol Student Award ceremony, and the FLL team presented their own homemade video showcasing their achievements, much like an FRC Chairman’s Award video.

Texas Torque was honored to attend the event and we were happy to present our accomplishments  to our local business community, from parents, to small business owners, to major corporations.

2018 South Florida Regional

April 7, 2018 in Competition, Outreach, Slideshow by Philip Wallis

This past weekend, the students, and mentors of Texas Torque traveled to West Palm Beach, Florida, to compete for our week 5 competition, South Florida Regional. Texas Torque competed in 10 hard fought qualification matches, which resulted us in the rank 34 position. By gracious decisions of the alliance captain 1251, Tech-Tiger Robotics, and their first pick 1902, Exploding Bacon, we were able to join their alliance to compete as the 7th seed alliance.

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After 3 hard fought quarter-final matches, we were able to advance to semi finals, where we have been knocked off by the 6th seed alliance, team 1744, 2383, and 3164. Although some issues came along, the drive team did the best they could do to win the match. Congratulations on regional finalists to the 6th seed alliance, and the 1st seed alliance, 179, 180, and 1369 for their regional win.

Good news for the team came along during the awards ceremony, when Texas Torque was selected as the Chairman’s Award winner! This is our 4th Chairman’s Award in five years, which continues the three-year streak of winning Chairman’s Award. You can watch our 2018 Chairman’s Video here.

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In two weeks, Texas Torque will be competing in the 2018 Houston FIRST Championship. As we prepare for the event, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or The Blue Alliance for updates on our progress.

Build Season Week 6 and 7 Update

February 26, 2018 in Outreach by Philip Wallis

After much anticipation, all sheet metal and powder coated parts arrived courtesy of NEMA Enclosures just in time to begin a hustle towards completion. Testing on the telescoping arm offered a final solution to loss of tension, ultimately leading into the assembly of the final version. Using Bravo, we tested the arm for not only placing cubes but also climbing.

Assembly by assembly Armageddon, our name for the 2018 season’s robot,  began to become a reality. Intakes were made but to our disappointment we faced issues intaking cubes in our first beta tests. Soon after realizing the source of conflict, intake started to work smoothly. Armageddon is complete after long work hours, and we continued to work on programming autonomous modes for the switch and scale.

As we prepare for our first regional, Dallas Regional, we continued to create more spare parts in order to prepare for any breaks or replacements that will be made throughout the regional.

We cannot thank our sponsors, parents, and mentors enough for not only their unconditional support but also for the experience which they have gifted to us.

Thank you for keeping up with us on our 6 week journey, and see you at Dallas Regional, Lone Star Central, and South Florida Regional!

Build Season Week 5 Update

February 12, 2018 in Outreach by Philip Wallis

After CAD being finalized last week, the sheet metal for charlie came in.  All members of Texas Torque are hard at work in order to get the robot ready for more drive practice.

The metals that were received have been powder coated for use on the competition robot. Also, all the parts that can be made in-house is nearly completed.

Texas Torque also came up with an operator panel design for the season, with each button assigned to each task.

Chairman’s Team finished and submitted majority of the essays, and have only few more to go until their deadline.

Stay tuned for additional weekly updates!