2024 Build Season Days 81-88 (3/26-3/31)

Monday 3/25

Pancakes & Snowmen!

In open room, instead of beginning building, we went outside to go play in the snow! After many attempts, we ended up with 2 large, slightly misshapen snowmen and a lot of snow on our clothes. Afterwards, we decided that it was probably best to go back inside and do some work in the room. Construction on Poolbot continued, with teammates adding more supports and doodles on the tarp. As one of our teammates said, “we are working on making Poolbot more buff.”

Today we also had a marketing meeting, where our teammates continued to work on emailing new sponsors. Also, Viki decided to become the lead for our March newsletter to our sponsors. Thanks Viki!

Finally, Maddie made pancakes for all of us to enjoy for our weekly team dinner. Safe to say, they were amazing! It’s nice every once in a while to take a break from building and business, and take a bite into a delicious pancake.

Tuesday 3/26

Minnesota Snow

Due to the Minnesota snow storm, our captains decided to close open room because of the icy roads. However, that did not stop our team from having a fundraising and team meeting.

During our fundraising meeting, the team continued to talk and plan our upcoming fundraisers. The majority of the details were worked out and all the kinks were ironed out during the meeting. Fantastic work, fundraising team!

Finally, our day ended with a very productive team meeting. Since our meeting was on zoom, many of our members showed their pets. Also, we have some role changes happening on our team. As Sandy is stepping down this year after 7 years of being head mentor, Ellie, our FTC head mentor graciously took on the role of not only being the head FTC mentor, but also Talon’s head mentor. Ellie is a wonderful mentor and teacher to us, we can’t wait for this new chapter for Talon! And Sandy, thank you for being a constant in our lives and providing us the tools that we need to succeed. Thank you all of our wonderful mentors to pour hours and hours into our team, and we are excited to keep improving the team with all of you!

Wednesday 3/27

Women in STEM

Wednesday, everyone’s favorite day of the week. Even though Wednesday is a little boring, open room was not. Today started out with more intake repairing and CNCing parts. Ally and Audrey are back at it CNCing more part for our team, thanks guys! As that was happening, Charlotte, Vonnie and Eleanor worked on our women’s panel event at 10k during open room. We can’t wait to see what these lovely ladies have to say about their impact from robotics.

During our awards meeting, the members worked on training new presenters for the IMPACT award. Good luck presenting IMPACT at 10k!

Finally, we had an FTC meeting to talk about our last FTC season and how we can improve for the next upcoming years. This was a very productive meeting, as everyone got to share about their positive and negative FTC experiences with mentoring. All in all, today was a great day. Even if it was a Wednesday.

Thursday 3/28

Meet the Mentor Thursday

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Josie. 

What is another fun fact about you?

Fun fact, I don’t have a spleen. 

Wait, what, huh?

I was born with a blood disorder that turns some of my blood cells into spheres, and my spleen, a part of your body that filters blood, didn’t like that. It started swelling and became enlarged, so I ended up having to get it removed when I was 8 or 9. 

Why did you choose to mentor Talon Robotics?

I was an alumni on the team from 2016-2019 and I went to college after I graduated, and came back here because I enjoy being here. Also, my dad mentors on the team so I like to be here to hang out with.

What is your favorite part of mentoring Talon Robotics?

Well, I really like you kids. Most of you, at least. In all seriousness, I like watching the scientific process and the thought you guys put into building the robot. It’s cool seeing it from start to finish and how you guys handle it at competitions. 

Quiz time! How many people are going to be on the Women’s panel next week at the Ten Thousand Lakes Regional Tournament?

Three people are going to be speaking at the Ten Thousand Lakes Regional next week. Me and two other people. Also, fun fact, 10k started in 2008 and was originally called the Minnesota Regional Tournament. 

What advice would you give to future robotics kids?

I would say, make the most of your time on the robotics team. Four years seems like a long time when you’re in high school, but in reality it is not. There are a lot of things you can learn about it for your career. We operate a lot like a small business, and you can learn a lot about how businesses work. You can also learn a lot about work ethic and time management, because we work long hours and you have to make sure you know how to know when it’s time to take a break, and how to manage your classes. Another thing you learn is actually a lot of good answers to interview questions. 

Really? Like what?

Well, one common interview question is how you deal with conflict, and robotics teaches you how in a civilized and kind way. I was a captain on the team and we’d always have to figure out how we were going to build our robot, and there would be, you know, people who would want to build the robot one way and people who would want to build it another. We just had to learn how to get around conflict and disagreement together. 

Finally, what advice would you give future mentors?

I would say, just do it. Like don’t think about it. We just need people in the room to be here and watch. You don’t even need to know anything about build or business, you just need ot know our three basic safety rules, which are closed toed shoes, safety glasses and tie your hair up. As long as you’re there, the kids will just be working on the robot, and you can just be there, That’s it. Just do it. 

Wonderful! Thank you Josie!

Josie’s Impact

Josie comes to open room a lot and handles a lot of the things that some of the other mentors don’t want to do, like some of the financial stuff. She also is very helpful when building the bumpers because she’s really good at them and is passionate about it. She’s just a really good mentor.” – Nolan P, business captain. 

“Josie is a great mentor in many different ways. When she comes into room, the energy definitely changes, and it’s easy to feel a lot more uplifted. She allows us to feel comfortable and is always a standing mentor whenever we have questions, or really need anything at all. She also understands build very well, and will either teach us how to do something or figure it out herself if she doesn’t know- then she teaches us. Finally, she doesn’t act as just a mentor, she is always someone fun to talk to and be around, and I’m so grateful she is a part of the team.” – Medha Ganjam, Student

Friday 3/29

The Calm Before Finals

Although Friday is one of the days with the most Talon members coming, the energy was quite calm compared to our loud and crazy week. However, that did not stop us from having an incredibly productive day. Our teammates scattered to complete various tasks. Starting with the freshmen boys, who began to set up the field. Also, our programmers worked on smoothing out our robot’s performance code, which improved our robot’s movements and efficiency overall. Throughout the day, the robot got many improvements, like a new limit switch for rotational movement! In addition to that, the robot got its improved intake attached! The bumpers also got new improvements, which included a new bracket after the old one broke.

Finally, we ended the day with Lisa bringing in pizza! We all got to take a break from building to eat some delicious pizza. Today was a great day to end the week with, as a calm environment is just what we needed before the busy finals week.

Saturday & Sunday (3/30-3/31)

Driving Practice

As we near the competition date, our drive team was working tirelessly to get in some driving practice before 10k. They have made vast improvements with shooting and the overall driving smoothness. Keep it up, drive team! As Sunday was a holiday for some of our teammates, we closed open room for the day. 

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