2021 Build Season Newsletter Issue #1

Our Team

Team 1403 started off the build season with a virtual team kickoff where our team gathered together to watch the announcement of the upcoming season by FIRST. Afterwards, we got straight to work. This week was extremely productive, with members arriving at meetings focused and prepared to work hard. 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Team 1403 has prepared for in-person meetings through the use of a multistage COVID safety plan, as well as proper sanitation and temperature checks. The safety of our members is our top priority and this is demonstrated in all meetings.


The Mechanical Subteam has been familiarizing newer members with various machines to prepare for the later weeks of build season. Meanwhile, returning members are working on the intake of the robot during their in-person meetings. They have been working with the Safety Subteam to produce certification so that everyone is trained and verified to work with each machine.


The Electrical Subteam has been reviewing pneumatics in order to create working systems. They have been going over case studies and discussing motor curves to refresh the knowledge of more experienced members, while educating newer members., They have assigned the next set of case studies to everyone to expand upon the subteam’s skills within electrical engineering.


The Design Subteam has split into three smaller groups to work on different tasks. Robot Design is having newer members practice drawings with experienced members, while more experienced members are being updated about the intake and the shooter of the robot. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) has been working with Robot Design to be updated about the robot and practice drawings. Animation has been working with the Safety Subteam to continue their progress on creating a safety animation.


The Programming Subteam has been making progress with a few different projects, and are getting a headstart with the robot. They have been collaborating with the Strategy Subteam to plan the scouting app for competitions. Alongside that, the subteam has started programming for the autonomous period in the robot game, making sure their code can be sustainable for a future robot.


The Strategy Subteam has been reading over the game manual to learn more about the game.  They gave a presentation about kickoff to the team at the Saturday meeting. Strategy has to work with the Programming Subteam to create a scouting app and reach out to them regarding their needs for the app. 


The Audio/Visual Subteam has begun work on drafting the script for the Chairman’s Video. The video is one of the several components of the Chairman’s Award, which is the most prestigious award at FIRST. Several members have been in the process of finding non-copyrighted music that can be used for it. The subteam has been working to take meaningful and high quality photos during in-person meetings.

originally had challenges related to planning in-person meetings and working with differing schedules, they have managed to better organize by creating schedules and deadlines. Through this, they have been able to keep everyone informed about meetings and important announcements. 


The Business/Communications Subteam has been working primarily on Team 1403 Social Media accounts;  creating and revising the first cycle of social media posts that are planned for the upcoming month. They have also been working on creating newsletters, and have taken notes on what each subteam has done in the past week. 


The Outreach Subteam has been continuing to work on Women in STEM and writing emails in regards to that.  The members have been working on getting a new initiative approved that focuses on STEM challenges for the Montgomery Lower Middle School students, which in return enrolls the students in a virtual raffle system. This initiative provides our members with more involvement and new volunteer opportunities. 


The Safety Subteam has been working on finalizing their general safety presentations and undergoing timed run-throughs.  They have been brainstorming new procedures for highlighting the importance of safety during electrical engineering. 

Innovation Project

This week, their main priority was to brainstorm problems and come up with a solution that revolves around the fitness world. Some groups were able to create a problem and begin developing their solution. The smaller groups are all further researching all the aspects of their possible solution, including the target audience, design, and price. 

Game Design Challenge

The Game Design Challenge, which is led by the Strategy Subteam, has been brainstorming possible game ideas. Members split into 5 groups, which then discussed and created their own game ideas. These game designs were presented to the team and mentors, and were eventually narrowed down to one group’s design. With the feedback from others and combined brainpower, the team plans on improving on their idea.