Newsletter: Triple Helix update – December 2018

Triple Helix earns another offseason win at Rumble in the Roads!
In early November, Triple Helix continued to prepare for the upcoming 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition season by competing at (and volunteering to help run) the Rumble in the Roads at Heritage HS in Newport News.  Triple Helix was ready to make a strong comeback in the elimination rounds after being bested in 5 of 6 qualification matches in early play.  We were selected by Team 836, the captain of the 3rd alliance, as their 2nd pick, and together with Team 623 we proceeded through three tough rounds of play to WIN THE EVENT!  This was Triple Helix’s fourth elims teamup with our friends at 623 in three consecutive seasons, and this time we finally came away with the win together.

Thanks to all who were able to visit and watch us on the live webcast– it was great to be cheered on by so many of our alumni, parents, and friends!

5th annual Rumble in the Roads a roaring success
In partnership with our friends at FRC teams 1610 and 5957, Triple Helix hosted the 5th annual Rumble in the Roads on Saturday, November 3.  Located at Heritage High School in Newport News, the event is one of the FIRST Chesapeake region’s premiere offseason FRC robotics competitions.  The event featured 31 high school teams from VA, MD, and NC who competed all day with their 140-pound robots.  Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive, and we look forward to running an even better event next year!

The Rumble in the Roads is made possible by generous sponsors including Newport News Shipbuilding, Christopher Newport University, Canon Virginia, Swisslog, Community Knights, and Jefferson Lab.  The event is produced in partnership with FIRST Chesapeake, Newport News Public Schools, and Intentional Innovation Foundation.

Peninsula STEM Gym now open and will serve as a FRC kickoff sub-site
Founded and operated by Triple Helix’s operating sponsor Intentional Innovation Foundation, the Peninsula STEM Gym is a place for student robotics teams to develop competition robots and have real-world engineering experiences that will inspire a lifelong interest in science and math.  Our gym features a 75%-sized FRC field and a complete 2018 FIRST Tech Challenge – Rover Ruckus playing field sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding.  These resources are available for community use.

The Peninsula STEM Gym was established with the generous assistance of a Community Knights GIFT Grant.
Immediately following the kickoff of the 2019 FRC season on Saturday, January 5, local teams will be able to pick up their Kits of Parts from the Peninsula STEM Gym.  Thanks to FIRST Chesapeake for making this possible.
Community members wishing to contribute financially to the Peninsula STEM Gym are invited to sponsor the purchase of a chair.  Sponsors of chairs will be invited to attach customized brass name plaques to their chairs at the open house.
https://store.iifound.org/product/sponsor-a-chair-at-the-stem-gym/

Triple Helix sweatshirts now available in our web store
For a limited time, we are gathering orders for this season’s Triple Helix hoodies to be delivered early next year!
https://store.iifound.org/product/sweatshirt/

Thank you to BAE Systems and new sponsor Lockheed Martin
Triple Helix wishes to share our appreciation of Lockheed Martin, which has provided our team a $2,000 grant.  Thank you for your generous support!

In addition, Triple Helix is extremely happy that BAE Systems has returned as a sponsor of our team this year by awarding a $1,000 grant.  BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair has been a longtime friend and partner of the team since at least 2010.


Nate Laverdure
Head coach, Triple Helix Robotics
President, Intentional Innovation Foundation

Converting Festo’s flow rate spec to Cv

Festo gives the flow rate through their solenoid valves in terms of “standard nominal flow rate”. What does this mean? How does it compare with other valves on the market?

Here’s a spreadsheet that converts the specified flow rate (which is actually a mass flow rate even though it’s in units of volume/time) into a flow coefficient or Cv. This lets you directly compare the size of the valve to other vendors’ stuff.

Spreadsheet

Chief Delphi discussion

Newsletter: This Saturday: inaugural open house of the Peninsula STEM Gym

This Saturday, November 17, come check out the next great resource for Hampton Roads student robotics teams: the Peninsula STEM Gym!  We are holding an Open House from 2pm to 6pm and we want to see you there!

Where
11516 Jefferson Ave Unit #2, Newport News, VA 23601
On-site parking is very limited; please see the 2nd page of the attachment for more information

44342871_934708360067302_8745397560413257728_o.jpg

What is the Peninsula STEM Gym?
Founded by Intentional Innovation Foundation, the Peninsula STEM Gym is a place for student robotics teams to develop competition robots and have real-world engineering experiences that will inspire a lifelong interest in science and math.  By enabling our students to better practice their sport in our Gym, we increase the likelihood that they can “turn pro” upon graduation.

We are excited to announce that the Peninsula STEM Gym now features a complete 2018 FIRST Tech Challenge – Rover Ruckus playing field sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding!  This field was used last night for a scrimmage of 5 local FTC teams, organized by the Spegonauts at Hines MS.

IMG_20181024_210845.jpg

How you can help
Community members wishing to contribute financially to the Peninsula STEM Gym are invited to sponsor a chair!

We are also recruiting a volunteer resource scheduler for the Peninsula STEM Gym.  This person would manage time slots for the key resources at the STEM Gym (currently, the FRC and FTC fields, and perhaps other users as the scope of the facility expands).  This role can be done mostly remotely, but will occasionally require visits to the facility to give a local team access to the space or check up on the status of the equipment.

In less than a couple months, we are also looking for volunteer field element builders who can use their woodworking skills to help the local FRC teams!  Using drawings that are published by FIRST during the FRC Kickoff in early January, these volunteers will construct full-scale wooden mock-ups of the major elements of the 2019 Destination Deep Space FRC field.  Here’s a past example of a field element that we would need to build.


Nate Laverdure
President, Intentional Innovation Foundation

Newsletter: Triple Helix update – November 2018

Triple Helix earns a win at IROC!
Triple Helix went 11-2 at this year’s IROC tournament at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, VA and WON THE EVENT along with alliance partners 346 and 339!  The team’s goals for this event were to allow students to explore new roles and introduce some of our rookies to the new experience of competing in a real FIRST robotics competition.  We definitely met this objective!  Thanks to all who were able to visit and watch us on the live webcast– it was great to be cheered on by so many of our alumni, parents, and friends!

This weekend, visit Rumble in the Roads at Heritage High School
The Rumble in the Roads on Saturday, November 3 is one of the FIRST Chesapeake region’s premiere offseason FRC robotics competitions.  Located at Heritage High School in Newport News, this event is run by Triple Helix in partnership with our friends at FRC teams 1610 and 5957.  This tournament will feature over 30 high school teams from VA, MD, and NC who will compete all day with their 140-pound robots to determine who will be crowned champion.

As a spectator at the Rumble in the Roads, you’ll also be able to visit the “pits” where you can inspect the robots up close and meet the students and mentors who created them.  You can enjoy the family-friendly event and discover ways to get involved in local efforts to strengthen STEM education.  Most importantly, you can do all of this for free!

You’ll also be able to watch the live webcast of the event on TBA GameDay.

In two weeks, attend the inaugural Open House of the Peninsula STEM Gym
Founded and operated by Triple Helix’s operating sponsor Intentional Innovation Foundation, the Peninsula STEM Gym is a place for student robotics teams to develop competition robots and have real-world engineering experiences that will inspire a lifelong interest in science and math.  By enabling our students to better practice their sport in our Gym, we increase the likelihood that they can “turn pro” upon graduation.

We are excited to announce that the Peninsula STEM Gym now features a complete 2018 FIRST Tech Challenge – Rover Ruckus playing field sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding!

We invite those wishing to learn more about the Peninsula STEM Gym to attend the first Open House to be held on Saturday, November 17 from 2pm to 6pm at the facility located at 11516 Jefferson Ave Unit #2, Newport News, VA 23601.

Community members wishing to contribute financially to the Peninsula STEM Gym are invited to sponsor the purchase of a chair.  Sponsors of chairs will be invited to attach customized brass name plaques to their chairs at the open house.

Thank you to major sponsors TE Connectivity and Best Buy
For the second season, Triple Helix has been selected to receive $5,000 in sponsorship funding from TE Connectivity.  We thank our friends at TE Connectivity for for their generous and continued support of our team!

In addition, Triple Helix was awarded a new $5,000 grant through Best Buy’s Community Grant program which supports programs that provide youth with access to new technologies and help them become interested and fluent in digital learning while developing skills to help better prepare them for future education and career success.


Nate Laverdure
Head coach, Triple Helix Robotics
President, Intentional Innovation Foundation

Newsletter: Triple Helix update – October 2018

Our team is off to a great start this school year!  September was filled with many recruiting and outreach events at Menchville HS and out in our community.  We’re looking forward to getting to know several new student and adult team members as together we prepare for two upcoming off-season competitions.

Triple Helix prepares for IROC
In just 3 weeks, the team will travel to Prince William County in Northern Virginia to compete at the ILITE Robotics Off-Season Challenge (IROC) hosted by our friends and competitors FRC Team 1885.  Triple Helix fans can watch a live stream of the event at ILITE’s YouTube channel.
http://irocoffseason.org/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCWs22DHGwRloB613zOJ9UA

We’ll be playing DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE Presented By The Boeing Company in 2019
The name of the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition game has been revealed!  Based on the teaser trailer for the game, it appears that our team must launch a mission to escape a weather event on hazardous planet Primus.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb1byfe_5TU

Volunteer support needed for Rumble in the Roads 2018
This fall’s Rumble in the Roads will be the high-tech epicenter of the Hampton Roads when it arrives at Heritage High School in Newport News on Saturday, November 3. There’s no event of it’s kind on the Virginia Peninsula– a meeting of 32 high school robotics teams from 3 states for a day of tough competition and high-energy learning. Each alliance of winning teams in this annual offseason scrimmage have gone on to become powerful players in the next FIRST Robotics Competition season.
https://www.rumbleintheroads.com/

Now in its 5th year and expecting 1,500 participants, the Rumble in the Roads is a well-attended youth robotics competition that attracts a unique technical audience from the local community and is an excellent venue for recruiting the next generation of Hampton Roads STEM leaders. The event is free and open to the public and we hope that everyone will come check out the competition!

We need your help to make the event great! We especially need your assistance with event setup on Friday afternoon and evening 11/2/2018, and teardown Saturday evening.

Thank you to sponsors Boeing and the Anthem Foundation
Several Triple Helix partners renewed their sponsorship of the team for the upcoming 2019 FRC season. We thank our mentors and friends at Boeing and Anthem for their generous and continued support!


Nate Laverdure
Head coach, Triple Helix Robotics
President, Intentional Innovation Foundation

Press release: Peninsula STEM Gym provides practice opportunities for Hampton Roads youth robotics teams

Intentional Innovation Foundation announces the founding of the Peninsula STEM Gym, a place for student robotics teams to develop competition robots and have real-world engineering experiences that will inspire a lifelong interest in science and math. Establishment of the Peninsula STEM Gym is made possible in part by a generous Community Knights GIFT Grant.

Located in central Newport News, the Peninsula STEM Gym offers local student robotics teams a 2,500 square foot practice area for testing robot functionality against the same field elements as they’ll encounter at real competitions. The facility will enable teams to gain driving practice, discover ways to iterate and improve their robot designs, and become better prepared to compete against other top Virginia teams as well as on the world stage. Four Peninsula student robotics teams, with an average of 20 students each, plan to use the STEM Gym to practice for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) in spring 2019.

By enabling these students to better practice their sport in a STEM Gym, we increase the likelihood that they can “turn pro” upon graduation, entering career fields which reward the communication and leadership skills that they learn through existing mentor-based robotics competitions.

“This is going to fundamentally change our approach to both software development and also drive team practice” says Todd Ferrante, drive team coach of Triple Helix Robotics, the competitive robotics team at Menchville High School in Newport News. “It really is a game changer.” Donald Williams, the head teacher and coach of the Phantom Mentalists, Phoebus High School’s team in Hampton, says: “The students need practice driving the robot to perform well in competitions, just like any other sport. FRC is a sport like any other at the high school level. It is just a sport for the budding engineers, programmers and manufacturing.”

Intentional Innovation Foundation, Inc. transforms students and our community into evangelists for science and technology by providing them life-changing opportunities to experience these subjects as a thrilling, challenging competition. The Newport News nonprofit organization recognizes that developing the future engineering workforce requires a culture shift that makes engineering “cool” again.

Community Knights, Inc. is committed to identifying the needs of small local nonprofit and public school organizations as well as the populations they serve and finding innovative ways to help them meet these needs collaboratively. The nonprofit organization is also dedicated to identifying service gaps for underserved populations within our community and, through the development of a nonprofit incubator, support and educate start up organizations to fill unmet needs within the Virginia Peninsula community.

The Peninsula STEM Gym is located at 11516 Jefferson Ave Unit #2, Newport News, VA 23601.

Those wishing to get involved with the Peninsula STEM Gym are invited to attend the first Open House to be held on Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 2pm to 6pm at the facility.

Community members wishing to contribute financially to the Peninsula STEM Gym are invited to sponsor the purchase of a chair. Task chairs will be grouped around workbenches lining one wall of the facility, providing a comfortable working environment for students to explore concepts in group problem-solving and teamwork. Sponsors of chairs will be invited to attach customized brass name plaques to their chairs at the inaugural open house of the STEM Gym on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

Newsletter: Triple Helix update – September 2018

Welcome back to school!  Here’s your Triple Helix Robotics newsletter for this month!

Inter-team outreach
This month Triple Helix continued a series of visits with two of our FRC competitors.  Blue Cheese, Team 1086, came to Newport News and visited our workshop where we discussed how we rapidly prototype robot mechanisms and build a consensus around a gameplay strategy.  The following weekend, Triple Helix traveled to meet The Zebracorns at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC.  The conversation with Team 900 centered around their cutting-edge software development efforts, their approach to outreach and team sustainability in North Carolina, and our approaches to strategic design and prototyping.  We’ve learned a ton about how these two great teams work and we’re looking forward to doing more of these visits in coming seasons.

Volunteer support needed for Rumble in the Roads 2018
This fall’s Rumble in the Roads will be the high-tech epicenter of the Hampton Roads when it arrives at Heritage High School in Newport News on Saturday, November 3.  There’s no event of it’s kind on the Virginia Peninsula– a meeting of 32 high school robotics teams from 3 states for a day of tough competition and high-energy learning.  Each alliance of winning teams in this annual offseason scrimmage have gone on to become powerful players in the next FIRST Robotics Competition season.

Now in its 5th year and expecting 1,500 participants, the Rumble in the Roads is a well-attended youth robotics competition that attracts a unique technical audience from the local community and is an excellent venue for recruiting the next generation of Hampton Roads STEM leaders.  The event is free and open to the public and we hope that everyone will come check out the competition!

We need your help to make the event great!  Please check out our volunteer application here:
https://www.rumbleintheroads.com/register/volunteer-application

Good luck to our new alumni!
A few months ago, Triple Helix graduated 10 stellar senior students.  As we move into the fall, we’d like to share our best wishes for these new alumni.  We know you’re equipped for the challenges you’ll soon be facing.  Always be iterating– as alum Aaron J put in his winning essay for the Indiana Robotics Invitational technical scholarship, “One of the most important life lessons that Triple Helix has taught me is to be patient in times of failures and how to approach or accept failure as a form of improvement.”  As you learned in your Triple Helix experience, it’s fun to work super hard and accomplish great things as a member of a team.  Good luck this year!

Thank you to sponsors DoD STEM and the Virginia AeroSpace Business Association
Several Triple Helix partners renewed their sponsorship of the team for the upcoming 2019 FRC season. We thank our mentors and friends at the SPAWAR Systems Center – Atlantic, and the DoD STEM funding organization, for their generous and continued support!  In addition, we would like to share our deep appreciation of the Virginia AeroSpace Business Association (VASBA) for increasing their level of support of Triple Helix for the upcoming season.


Nate Laverdure
Head coach, Triple Helix Robotics
President, Intentional Innovation Foundation

Newsletter: Triple Helix update – August 2018

It’s been an exciting month for Triple Helix Robotics!  Here’s some of the big things that have happened in July:

Indiana Robotics Invitational
Triple Helix traveled to Indianapolis to compete in the IRI, a prestigious and competitive post-season (unofficial) competition for the top teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition. This event is the Pro Bowl of FRC. Competing there among legendary teams was an eye-opening experience for Triple Helix students and mentors, and we’ve been thoroughly inspired to take our program to the next level.  Check out the recap video for the event by IndianaFIRST:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BEqo8uGplo

Inter-team outreach
The team met up with our competitor Blue Cheese, FRC team 1086, at their workshop in Ashland, VA. There, we learned all about their team’s processes: working out of a sponsor’s facility, designing robot parts for outside manufacture, helping to lead the National Advocacy Conference and other political activism, winning a FIRST Championship, and more! This visit was one in a series: this month we’ll host Blue Cheese at our workshop, and we’ll also travel to The Zebracorns at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC.

YMCA STEM fair
Recently graduated seniors, alumni, and former mentors came together to participate in the YMCA STEM fair at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton. YMCA summer camp counselor and recent Triple Helix graduate Rachel B. stated: “My campers and my co workers absolutely LOVED the robot and the team. You guys did an amazing job representing the team at the YMCA STEM fair and I am super happy and proud! Thank you so much again!”

Thank you to Booz Allen Hamilton
Booz Allen has renewed their sponsorship of the team for the upcoming 2019 FRC season. Thank you for your generous and continued support!


Nate Laverdure
Head coach, Triple Helix Robotics
President, Intentional Innovation Foundation