Superintendent of CISD Visits TTWHQ

This summer, Texas Torque had the pleasure of hosting a visit for the CISD Superintendent, Dr. Stockton at the Texas Torque World Headquarters in The Woodlands College Park High School.

Team members took great joy in showing Dr. Stockton around our workspace, introducing him to the subteams that keep our organization running smoothly. The Superintendent also had the opportunity to talk to individual team members about their daily activities, so that he could better understand just how much of an impact Texas Torque has on its students.

Toward the middle of our meeting, outreach sub-team members Jeffrey Zhang, Reagan Spexarth, and Lexalee Flanagan gave Dr. Stockton a brief presentation over the possibility of a STEM center available to students of CISD. This STEM center would allow Texas Torque to expand past the constraints of our current lab, as well as to encourage greater participation in BEST, FLL, and VEX robotics. The team is currently working on location and layout, but still plans to present this STEM center proposal to the CISD Bond Committee this coming fall.

At the conclusion of our meeting Dr. Stockton drove our 2014 robot “Rev1” around the field set-up, even getting the opportunity to help shoot game pieces into the goals.

Texas Torque looks forward to a continued relationship with the Superintendent, as well as the current  potential of a CISD STEM center to be built in our district.

Texas Torque students explain the different functions of the robot to Superintendent Dr. Stockton.

Subsea 7 and iTech 7 Offer Scholarships to Texas Torque Students

This year, our team has had the pleasure of welcoming two influential companies as sponsors and partners: Subsea 7 and its subsidiary, iTech 7. Mr. M. Landwehr, an employee of Subsea 7 and a parent of a Texas Torque student, has been gracious enough to develop something a little different: scholarships to graduating seniors on the team.

In a group presentation early Saturday morning, Mr. Landwehr explained the functions of his company and the details of the scholarships, dubbed the “Being 7 Scholarships” to emphasize the importance of certain qualities that Subsea 7 and its subsidiaries promote. Again promoting the power of the students, the Being 7 Scholarships enable all team members and mentors to nominate senior students who embody one or more of five key attributes: Saftey, Integrity, Collaboration, Innovation, and Performance. The final decision on these scholarships will be made by a selection committee composed of both Subsea 7 employees and dedicated Texas Torque adults.


Legislative Director Michael Houck visits TTWHQ

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.

Halliburton Renews Platinum Sponsorship

On Thursday, January 16, Halliburton officially renewed their enduring sponsorship of Texas Torque through a $10,000 donation. Halliburton Director of Strategic Planning Alan Coats passed on the check to Matt Davies, Texas Torque business mentor and director. The donation marks the eighth year of Halliburton’s sustained sponsorship of Texas Torque, having continued to provide support for the team from its early years. For this and much more, we are infinitely thankful and look forward to a sustained relationship between our two organizations.

Matt Davies receives the $10,000 check from Alan Coats.

Matt Davies receives the $10,000 check from Alan Coats.

Texas Torque Visits Halliburton

Texas Torque team members took a trip down to the Halliburton North Belt Technology Center in Houston to further the long-standing relationship between team and sponsor. Both alumni and students had the opportunity to present on Texas Torque’s recent goals and achievements to Halliburton faculty and technology council. All representatives had the amazing experience of touring the Halliburton laboratories, led by company engineers.

The highlight of the visit came with Texas Torque’s demonstration of the 2013 robot, Sonic, to the Halliburton faculty. Following the demonstration, Torque engineers interacted with Halliburton engineers as the faculty members asked questions about the robot’s various functions. Mentors, alumni, and current students were all able to engage in this exchange of questions and ideas.

Co-captain Josh Beridon explains functions of Sonic to Halliburton employees.

Co-captain Josh Beridon explains functions of Sonic to Halliburton employees.

To continue this exchange, Texas Torque discussed the creation of a mentorship program with Halliburton; through this program, students on Texas Torque will be able to learn from the experiences and technical skills of the Halliburton engineers, whose experience in leading the students will surely be applicable on the job. We look forward to the continuation of our relationship with Halliburton and their constant support through our endeavors in and out of the FIRST Robotics season.

Texas Torque in New York for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Along with four other award-winning FIRST teams from around the nation, Texas Torque was chosen to kick off the festivities at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, New York. As the winner of the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, Torque, in particular, was given the special honor of cutting the ribbon at the start of the parade. The weeks before the event were spent preparing the award-winning robot, SONIC, for the 2.5 mile journey and equipping the robot with the golden scissors supplied by Macy’s. The other teams attending the event were to build contraptions capable of shooting confetti during the parade.

In New York, four representatives of Texas Torque joined members of FRC 1538 (The Holy Cows), FRC 16 (Baxter Bomb Squad), FRC 25 (Raider Robotics), and FRC 180 (S.P.A.M.) in anticipation of the event. The Holy Cows and Texas Torque were featured in a morning news segment by Fox and Friends, adding to the multiple media appearances over the course of the week. In the highly-anticipated moment, Texas Torque and the other four teams made history by becoming the first robotics teams to begin the festivities at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, an event now witnessed by the 50 million viewers of the parade nationwide. SONIC successfully cut the red ribbon, and all teams and robots traveled the full length of the parade.

#runningwithscissors #makingitloud

The highly-anticipated moment in action. (Photo credit: Adriana M. Groisman)

FRC 1477, Texas Torque, would like to thank FIRST for the honor of representing the organization on the national stage. In addition, the team thanks the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade administration for the incredible opportunity and their support of the FIRST program, as well as FedEx and Southwest Airlines for their services and their partnership with FIRST. All supporters and sponsors of Texas Torque deserve our utmost gratitude for all of their help throughout this amazing year.