2024 Build Season Days 31-37 (2/5 – 2/11)

Written by: Charlotte S, Medha G, Dylan L, Dylan C

Monday 2/5

As we kicked another school week off, the open room was filled with programming and team bonding. Our team prepares for Sunday’s driver’s test by playing a team Blooket, with the majority of the freshmen rushing to win the game. It was a close game, with Ally getting first place. Great job Ally!

The Eden Prairie Chick-Fil-A building

Programming also started to work on the robot, starting with the swerve modules. Progress is going smoothly for the modules and the bumpers Vonnie D is working on. Our safety mentor Maddie S, got us a sponsored dinner from Chick-fil-A, so a special thanks to Maddie! Everyone loved the break from robots, it was a must for some members.

Finally, there was a marketing meeting, which consisted of choosing the team’s new merch items. We ended up choosing to provide keychains and stickers. Make sure to look out for our new merch at all of our events! All in all, today was a calmer yet productive day that had yet another tasty dinner.

Tuesday 2/6

Today was a very successful day of robot reworking, fundraising, and more human-player fun. Our robot’s intake was one inch too wide, making it illegal. Luckily, our team made sure to swiftly adjust our design, making it legal once again! Lots of CNCing was going on today, with Ally and Audrey slowly becoming professionals. Of course with the help of Riley, being a great teacher! Once again, at the start of the open room teammates made their way to our school’s commons to begin practicing for human players. Overall, they made impressive progress with their accuracy.

One student working on a soldering iron.

During practice, a fundraising meeting was held just across the commons. We worked on finalizing the Culver’s fundraiser, making sure to advertise the event properly. Make sure to check out our social media accounts for the posts! After working on Culver’s, fundraising began to work on a possible Freeziac fundraiser that will occur in late May.

Finally, to wrap up the night Talon had yet another team meeting. The team meeting consisted of going over the weekly plan and checking in with each sub-team. At the end of the meeting, Dylan and Paul planned a team-building activity! Our team members had a bunch of fun participating, thanks guys!

Wednesday 2/7

The sun sets in on a room full of energy, fun, and brilliance. Nolan coded and wowed everyone with the robot’s slick maneuvers. We are also always tinkering with our robot, making improvements every day.

Two students working at the driver station

During this week’s media meeting, the team discussed many fun projects and aspects of our team that we could work on. In this meeting, we had a foreign exchange student from Italy attend our meeting and he provided a fun perspective. Stay tuned for future endeavors and our silly social media posts! Later, an awards meeting was held to finalize our essays. After lots of discussion and many edits, our essays are up to par and are ready to be submitted to our competitions! 

eight elementary kids posing for a picture

We also had some guests, our Eden Prairie Elementary Students for one of our FIRST Lego League teams come to visit us! They showed off their innovation and robot design presentations, and team members provided input and feedback. We had a blast seeing all their fun and creative ideas.

Meet The Mentor (2/8)

While the programming meeting did happen this Thursday, The media team wants to make Thrusday more interesting as it is considered our day off from the robotics room. As a result, the media team will be interviewing mentors as a way to highlight them. This Mentor of the week: Sandy Olson

Sandy smiling holding a water bottle
Who are you?

Hi, I’m Sandy Olson, and I’ve been a mentor for ten or eleven years. My husband and I are always in constant debate about how long I’ve been mentoring. 

What is another fun fact about you?
  • I’m a huge Disney fan! I love Disney, I’ve always loved Disney, this Mickey Mouse and Friends water bottle is also mine, actually. 
Why did you choose to mentor Talon Robotics?
  • My kids, they were here, they were part of the team. I wanted to see them, but it was also something that I could do to help their team. 
What is your favorite part of mentoring Talon?
  • My favorite part of mentoring Talon is definitely watching the kids grow up. They first come in as freshmen and sophomores, coming in unsure and nervous, and they end up becoming leaders and captains, and it’s amazing seeing them grow up. 
Quiz time! What is Timothy’s (one of the robotics kids’) favorite food?
  • I actually have no clue! I would say, food? 
Timothy, what is your favorite food?
  • I don’t actually know.
So technically you are correct, then. 
  • I guess so!
What advice would you give future robotics kids?
  • Advice? Well, I would just say make the most of it. Your years on the team are short, and you should try everything, make the most of everything. Try your hand at the drive team, and at marketing, build, outreach, everything. It’s a good time to try things. 
What advice would you give mentors?
  • Get to know the kids. It’s hard to do, but it’s definitely worth it. Little known secret? The adults are just as nervous as the kids. They’re always like “Oh no, I’m not sure, I don’t know what to do. How do I talk to the kids? What do they think of me? We all have the same insecurities, and the best way to get over them is to try our best. 
Thank you so much for talking to me Sandy!
  • No problem, I enjoyed it.
Sandy smiling with another volunteer

Sandy’s impact

Timothy, Manufacturing Lead

Timothy, what does Sandy do on the team?

“Sandy does all the administrative work that others don’t want to do. She spends a lot of time on our team. She’s always there. She’s the reason our team gets to go to tournaments and stuff, and I’ve known her even outside of the team”

Paul, Build Captain

Paul, how has Sandy helped you on the team?

“So for me, as a captain, she has spent a lot of time helping things run smoothly behind the scenes. She does a lot of the work and is pretty much a one-man army fulfilling like five different jobs as a coordinator, and she does it all without complaining and assisting you in every way possible. When I first became captain, she trained me and told me everything I needed to know, and was always providing support and asking if I needed any help at all. Ever since my freshman year, Sandy has always been a constant force, always kept things organized, and orders things for us whenever we need them. She also schedules our open rooms. There’s to say this team would not run without Sandy”

Friday 2/9

Today was quiet, with most of our team opting out of coming to the open room, but it was still eventful for those who were there. We did work very hard on one important part of our robot- the bumpers! We also worked on continuing to program and wire the robot, which is a very integral part of the way it runs. There was some very good news about our robot- it now moves! This was celebrated and we got to run the robot on an actual field. Speaking of fields as well, multiple members assisted at setting up the full field for the first time this year. With new wooden elements made by our mentors Joe B. and Chris O, We got to have a lot of practice before Sunday’s driver’s test. While this was happening, some other members were working on creating some new Instagram Reels (go check it out!) Overall, today was a fun, yet quiet day. Everyone was excited to see what the weekend brings.

Saturday 2/10 

Five members posing for a photo next to a truck full of housing items

On Saturday, Talon was quite busy. Starting at 9:30a.m Dylan, Ben, Avery, and Juan Diego helped our design mentor Mike move into his new apartment. This was considered a fun raiser for the team as Mike offered to pay for the “moving company.” The Talon members worked hard and by noon, the open room started, and the robot got some much-needed finalizations for the driver’s test. The team was so successful, that our robot Cronus was able to perform almost all functions multiple times before we had a minor break in our intake that halted the progress for the rest of the evening. 

Sunday 2/11

Just like Saturday, many members woke up bright and early for a special team event. With a working robot, Talon’s driver test started at 9 a.m. For the next seven hours, multiple members of the team competed for the exclusive positions. After the battle, only four remained. For the team’s competition season, Nolan P. will be our Driver, Andy K. will be our Operator, Riley L. will be our coach, and Nathan R. will be the Human Player. 

three members at the amp practicing their note throwing

The whole day was an obvious success, but Talon was also able to prove that Cronus is getting stronger and stronger. Onto the next week!

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