we go again, our eighth Botball season. We have registered three teams for
the 2008 competition. We have lots of kids interested, lots of resources,
and lots of experience. Let's see what we can learn this year.
We are registered as Team 08-0092, Team 08-0093 and
Team 08-0196. We have over 40 teenagers participating this year from
12 different high schools. We have received support from four great
sponsors -- KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, IEEE Foundation
(Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineering), IBM Community
Grants, and of course, Lockheed Martin for their facilities and volunteers.
We worked on the Botball Research and
Design Challenge. For this year’s challenge, we needed to do some work
Google Lunar X PRIZE. There is a good description of the
Space News. Only Team 08-0092 submitted a
report. It included some
One topic that is important in all our
development efforts is "Over or Around?". We
did some research on this topic.
This year we are working with the
Create. We began in January to understand the coding for navigation around
the preliminary competition table.
The workshop was held March 15-16 at the
University of Maryland, Computer Science Building. This is where we
learned more about robotics and got the competition detail for this year. We
picked up our kits at the workshop. We sent six teens and three adults each day.
After the workshop, we got into serious
development. We met every Wednesday (6-9pm) and every
Saturday (10am-1pm). We will have a status
meeting at 7:30pm on Wednesdays and 11:00am on Saturdays. It required a
fair amount of commitment from each participant -- 100 hours over 7 weeks.
We kept a
journal on our
development activities. The journal was an important source for
the documentation products which were posted on the Botball team sites.
We also had a discussion group set up on
Try it -- you'll like it.
Here was our schedule:
The regional competition was at the
University of Maryland, Ritchie Coliseum, on Saturday May 3, 2008. It
was an all day event and the teams did great!
The Global Conference on Educational Robotics
held on July 8-11, 2008 in Norman, Oklahoma. We sent two
teams (Team 92, Team 93) and a Beyond Botball team. Six teens and
three adults traveled to Norman, but many other members helped prepare for
the event. Next year, this event will be held in Leesburg, Virginia.
Following the conference, we conducted some
feedback sessions. We added the lessons to our conference web page.
We also sent a note to KIPR on
recommendations for 2009.