TEAM NEWS UPDATE
Congratulations to Mr. English for getting the Outstanding Coach/Mentor Award at the FLL competitions last weekend. This further shows the amazing mentor base that supports the Twisted Devils.
To celebrate Independence day the robotics team went and marched in the Richland Parade. We at least one member from each Gull Lake Robotics division (FLL, FTC, FRC) came. It went from the Gull Lake Middle School through downtown to Grace Spring Church. We grew our community outreach by showing off the robots and passing out candy to the kids. When we go to the parade we also spread the word about robotics and encourage others to join. Our team has gained a lot of recognition and it is fun to hear young children cheering when they see our robots pass by. Most popular by far is “Gary” our robot from Aerial Assist, with the snail themed ball retention panels. The Twisted Devils appreciate the Richland Area Business Association for their sponsorship of this annual community event.
We, Gull Lake High School’s Twisted Devils, Team 4381, are very excited and happy about our season so far! Along with hundreds of successful, safe build hours, we have participated in 2 competitions. First, we attended the Lakeview Event, hosted by our friends at Q Branch Team 4327. We were able to have a successful, fun competition with many local teams from our community and other areas. More recently, we are proud to have hosted another incredible competition at our very own Gull Lake High School. There were many high spirits at this lively event!
Our team had many wonderful learning experiences at Lakeview. Our drive team was able to better their understandings of the control and handling of our robot. The whole team learned which strategies worked best for our robot, and how to execute them in more efficient ways. Our team placed 36th in the game portion of the competition. However, we were picked for quarter final alliance and made our way up to the semi finals. We had even better luck at our home event. We placed 8th, and ended up as the 5th place alliance captain!
We are grateful to the Tractor Technicians for picking us in their alliance at the Lakeview Event. Together with East Grand Rapids Robotics, team 5980, we made our way up to the 2nd match in the semi finals! After getting a poor rank in the qualifiers, we had low spirits. That is, until we were chosen for an alliance, and worked with our allies well! The quarter- and semifinals were a fun, cheer-filled, exciting experience for our team. After that, we received the Entrepreneurship Award. This was a great end to an exciting weekend! At our home event, we held our position as 5th alliance captain, picking Team 1504, the Desperate Penguins, and Team 4453, the Red Hot Chili Bots. Our alliance played well, despite field faults and mistakes. We are very proud of our performance, and are humbled to have worked alongside and against such amazing teams. Much to our surprise, we received the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award for our work as junior mentors to our middle and elementary school sister teams! We wore our medallions with dignified gratification!
Currently, our team has no major projects, but we are continuing to update our Facebook and website as usual. Our team has the unique opportunity to work on badges in an attempt to get participation in our team recognized as a credit for Gull Lake High School. We have all been working hard on these. As of time of writing, we are around 50 badges! Along with that, our build team has been making small modifications to our robot. The biggest of these is probably our adjustments to our climbing system. We are replacing the finger and knot method with hook-and loop material to see how that works for gripping the rope.
We have the Lake Superior State University competition coming up in two weeks. We are hoping for the best! The event will be a great experience, as the first event of the season that is far away. We hope this will help make us better prepared to go to the state event later this season. If not, the event will be a great practice for our drive team anyways. From the Twisted Devils, team 4381, we hope everyone has a wonderful, safe season!
In January 2017, several members of the Twisted Devils, Team 4381 attended a tour of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratories(NSCL) at Michigan State University. The NSCL is one of the largest, most powerful cyclotron particle accelerators in the world. A cyclotron is a particle accelerator that is relatively compact-about 5 foot diameter, a couple stories tall. It uses electromagnets to accelerate particles to nearly light speed. These are then collided with other particles to combine the nuclei of atoms and turn them into other elements.
Our team was given the privilege of being able to tour this fantastic facility. In the beginning of the tour, we were given an informative presentation about theory and science behind the NSC. We were able to see the control room of the Cyclotron, which was full of monitors, buttons, dials, and high-power computers. We also got to get in the same room as the cyclotron-- we could literally touch it! We were also in a room in which particles were shot into a large sensor to detect them. The superconducting part of the name comes from the fact that these small wires which make up the electromagnets are cooled down to nearly absolute zero using liquid helium, which increases the conductivity of the wire, allowing massive amounts of current to flow through shockingly small wire. All together, the tour was a very interesting, informative experience for all the students. We sincerely thank MSU and the NSCL for this wonderful opportunity.
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