Rookie Training Day      By Gunnar Higgins

Spruce Mountain High School’s SMART Robotics program hosted a “Rookie Training Day” on Saturday, the 22nd of November. This event was intended to assist fellow First Robotics teams from Winthrop and Searsport. The gathering, hosted in the cafeteria and shop areas of SMHS, provided the new, up-and-coming robotics teams with training and hands-on experience.

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Members of Design and Build Team,   Drive Team, Spirit Team, and Programming Team were grouped and job roles were defined, as to which aspects of the competition and build season the specific teams were responsible for. Focus was primarily on the build season, especially the importance of directions, design, and teamwork. Then each group was free to acquire hands-on training with the help of the Team Captains and Mentors.

Two designs of chassis were built, along with their respective electronic and drive train systems.  Some received guidance on the task of programming the system in order to allow a Drive Team to control the robot. Spirit teams focused on fundraising and the issue of sponsor support, as well as the importance of enthusiasm and internal support between teammates and teams.

The Rookie Training Day gave two schools, both new to the First Robotics Competition, the ability to work together to achieve their goals. Safety, teamwork, and work ethic being the main focuses of this gathering, SMART Robotics assisted two neighboring teams with the guidance that will allow for success in the arena and enjoyment in the shop.

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Livermore Falls Advertiser 12/10/2014, Page A12
Outstanding Rookie training day
By Gunner Higgins JAY — Spruce Mountain High Schools SMART Robotics program hosted a “Rookie Training Day” on Saturday, the 22nd of November. This event was intended to assist fellow First Robotics teams from Winthrop and Searsport. The gathering, hosted in the cafeteria and shop areas of SMHS, provided the new, upand- coming robotics teams with training and hands-on experience.

The Rookie Training Day gave the schools, both new to the First Robotics Challenge, the ability to work together to achieve their goals. Safety, teamwork, and work ethic being the main focuses of this gathering, SMART Robotics assisted two neighboring teams with the guidance that will allow for success in the arena and enjoyment in the shop.

Members of Design and Build Team, Drive Team, Spirit Team, and Programming Team were grouped and job roles were defined, as to which aspects of the competition and build season the specific teams were responsible for. The focus was primarily on the build season. Specifically the importance of directions, design, and teamwork. Then each group was free to acquire hands-on training with the help of the Team Captains and Mentors.

Two designs of chassis were built, along with their respective electronic and drive train systems. Some groups received guidance on the task of programming the system in order to allow a Drive Team to control the robot. Spirit teams focused on fund-raising and the issue of sponsor support, as well as the importance of enthusiasm and internal support between teammates and teams. SMART appreciates and thanks the many parents, mentors and volunteers who help out at different events including: Rob Taylor, Tony Flagg, Fred Ouellette, Kim Bryant, Donna Greeley, Michael Taylor-Hampton, Sarah Delaney, Donna Greeley, Tracey Castonguay, Paul Henry and the Gettles.

Line dancing. Outstanding ice breaker and great job by all, thank you Mrs. Bryant.

What is a FRC team? Breakout session: Captains, great discussion and presentations.

Robot drive train build session: Outstanding training. The Rookies loved the training and needed it.

Spirit or NEMO: Very well done. Great discussion, it really helped the Rookies.

Lunch. Thank you parents for setting it up and feeding us.

Pneumatics demonstration. Thank you Mr. Taylor and Paul Henry for setting this up and helping present it.

Driver practice with Kooper. I know the drivers had limited time with the robots, but at least some of the rookies got to drive.

Wiring and programming: Outstanding effort. I think next year we will start wiring earlier, but with few rookies it was hard to break out the groups.

‘Overall, this had to be the best training day that we have done so far. I am looking forward to expanding the day to including all new rookie teams for next year. I was impressed with the way SMART students cleaned up after activities,’ according to Dan Lemieux, coach and Technology Education teacher.


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The build team training session gave students a chance for hands on exploration.


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Mrs. Bryant helps break the ice with a little line dancing.