Demo Blitz Week for Texas Torque

February 28, 2014 in Outreach, Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

This past week has been one of the most active weeks in Texas Torque’s history, with robot tuning, lab organization… and three demonstrations at elementary schools in the Conroe Independent School District.

Team members distributed themselves among the three events at Armstrong Elementary, Anderson Elementary, and Bush Elementary, promoting science and technology at the various presentations. For many of the students, this was their first time getting to see a fully functional robot from Texas Torque; while some of the students remembered seeing our 2012 robot, VelociRiptar, we also presented our 2013 robot, Sonic, at two of the three demonstrations. Our students took great pride in explaining both the functions of our robot and our team to children and parents alike. Even our newest members were able to demonstrate knowledge of our team and FIRST as a whole.

And, of course, our team encouraged all students to join robotics if interested. We advertised FIRST programs to all students, suggesting everything from FIRST Lego League (FLL) to FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) as a channel for robotics experience. Many were pleasantly surprised to hear of our open membership policy and the range of students who can join Texas Torque in addition to the skill and poise that all volunteer members exhibited.


Texas Torque is proud to be such an influential factor in the scientific growth of our community’s youth. In the future, we will certainly continue to strive for an even greater impact.

Texas Torque Volunteers at Local Science Events

February 18, 2014 in Outreach by Scott Rippetoe

Texas Torque is well known for its active role in the community, and this year has been no exception. Despite one of the busiest schedules in Texas Torque’s history, team members made a constant effort to help out with the Sci:// Tech Exposition, an annual series of events and competitions held in Conroe ISD to promote science and technology.
At the beginning of the campaign, Texas Torque held a demonstration at the Lone Star Expo, where team members answered questions about the team and the 2013 robot. Outreach Captain Matt Bartell worked hard to organize members of the team to help judge the Junior and Senior divisions of the Engineering Design Competition, where students in grades 7 through 12 built basic robots to complete tasks on a timed course.
We are continuing these efforts with more demonstrations in the near future. Thanks to Texas Torque volunteers, the Sci://Tech Exposition was a great success, and hundreds of students were able to take part in a well-executed exploration into STEM applications.

Legislative Director Michael Houck visits TTWHQ

February 3, 2014 in Outreach, Sponsor by Scott Rippetoe

This afternoon, Texas Torque hosted Michael Houck, the legislative director in the office of State Representative of District 15, Steve Toth.

Team members had the pleasure of showing Mr. Houck around our workspace, introducing him to the subteams that keep our organization running smoothly. Toward the middle of our meeting, Co-captain Vaishu Kishore, Outreach Lead Matthew Bartell, and Public Relations Lead Humphrey Obuobi led our guest to see the various prototypes within Texas Torque World Headquarters, including those developed within the current season. “Sonic,” our World Championship robot, was briefly demonstrated as well.

Students discuss the future of Texas Torque with Legislative Director Michael Houck.

Students discuss the future of Texas Torque with Legislative Director Michael Houck.

Mr. Houck also discussed the future goals of Texas Torque with these team representatives, including the possibility of a STEM center available to students of the Conroe Independent School District. We hope to develop the idea in the future to include all students in CISD involved in STEM related extracurricular activities and beyond. At the conclusion of our meeting, Mr. Houck presented Texas Torque with a congratulatory statement from the state government on our victory at the 2013 World Championship.

Texas Torque looks forward to a continued relationship with District 15 and the Texas state government, in addition to the potential advances that could result from their partnership and guidance.

Demonstration at Sci://Tech Exposition

February 3, 2014 in Outreach by Scott Rippetoe

This past weekend, Texas Torque members traveled up to the Lone Star Convention Center for the Sci://Tech Exposition, a yearly convention of science and technology for students in the Conroe Independent School District.

At the event, children from all over the district came together to see our Championship-winning robot, “Sonic,” while team members answered questions concerning robot design, engineering, and safety. Adults and children alike were fascinated by the outstanding feats of engineering on display. Rud Merriam, moderator of the website “Mystic Lake Software,” had this to say about the team:

This competition is for high-school students and, to be blunt, you have to be impressed by their poise and ability to engage with adults and children about their team and robot.

Through this demonstration, Texas Torque was able to reach hundreds of students in the district, thus continuing to spread the principles of STEM throughout the greater Houston area. The event was undeniably an enjoyable experience for both team members and spectators, and we hope to return next year to hopefully reach an even greater audience.