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Build Season: Week 3

Time flies when you’re having fun! Here we are at the end of Week 3 and there’s lots of progress to show for it!

Kelli is getting the frame welded!
This year the frame is flat as can be!
Damien’s first spray painting project! He’ll be tagging before we know it!
Molly always has time for a little whipped cream. Pirates don’t worry about table manners much.
Kegan still has ten fingers, so this went well!
First City is getting a heavy coat of Plasti-Dip… That should protect it from asteroids!

We are super excited to start putting subsystems on the frame and see how she looks! Check out our social media for more updates!

JR Robotics January Edition

A record setting 22 budding engineers showed up for Jr Robotics at the Scalawags’ shop this morning. After watching the kick off video, they brainstormed ways to play the game. As soon as the creative juices were flowing, the young pirates sketched out ideas and built models of their design out of LEGOs.

When all ideas had been admired and explained, the Jr Robot crew walked down the hall to Team 1359’s shop and got an update on what the Scalawags have planned. Although they were not able to see any of our prototypes in action, the Jrs were excited to see that the competition robot will incorporate some of the same ideas as their LEGO models! Great minds think alike!

Build Season – Part 1

The Scalawags have been hard at work in the shop since we watched the Kick Off video and received our kit of parts in Early January. At the end of our second week, we are well on our way! The fabricators started welding the frame today. Subsystems to handle the power cells, and shoot them at the target are in the final stages of prototyping. Programmers are using their test board to check their work, and the art team has already created an awesome replica of First City. All in all, we’ve been a very busy band of pirates.

Buttons will be made!
Nathan is filing edges to keep fingers from getting sliced.
The art team is making some awesome mascot costumes!
Showing new mentors the pirate way!
Finishing up the test board for programmers.
Testing the lift mechanism.
Kelli getting it done.
When the Art Team gets to spray paint on Day 2… it’s going to be a great year!
Programming is exhausting…

(If you missed the kick off video, you can see what obstacles we have to overcome here

Infinite Recharge

Kick Off for 2020!

The team traveled to OSU bright and early this morning to learn about this year’s challenge. We are super excited about building a new robot to take on new tasks. If you haven’t watched the video yet, take a look and see what we’re up against:

After only half a day of brainstorming, some pirates have already broken off to prototype parts of the robot. Others are working on frame, and even thinking about the programming needs. The art team, of course, has already come up with incredible ideas for weaving the Infinite Recharge theme into our pit, costuming, and spirit work!

Arrrgh! We’ll stop in with pictures and more updates as we have them!

FIRST Chance

Saturday, November 9th, our rookie team members and new mentors went to the FIRST Chance event in Wilsonville. This is an event put on by DW Fritz Automation, a big supporter of FIRST. It has a similar concept to Girls Generation, although the idea of this competition is to let rookies get a taste of FIRST, and promote how fun the payoff of build season is. Our rookies had a blast, finishing 5th overall. We’re super proud of them!!!

Junior Robotics

We had a blast and a half Saturday, November 23rd, during Junior Robotics! The morning began with introductions, a safety talk, and a tour of our new shop. We talked about how solar energy works, and the pros and cons of how much it costs our environment to produce this clean energy provider. In the end, the kids decided if we could make everything solar powered, it would be totally worth it. Then, we built tiny solar powered cars, and held a race. It was a close one, but the sun came out just in time to indulge us! After the race, we demonstrated our t-shirt cannon, Percy, and shot off t-shirts for the kids.

November Junior Robotics!

With our new space crammed full but not yet organized, the Scalawags are proud to announce that our Junior Robotics program will resume business as usual. Our first meeting in our new space at the high school will be Saturday, November 23, from 9:30 to 11. 4th through 8th graders are invited to the small engines room in the 700s hall, which can be reached by driving around to the back of the school, where the staff parking lot is located. There will be lights on, a door propped open, and a pirate flag proudly waving. Returning students are encouraged to bring a friend! Don’t forget to come with close toed shoes, tied back hair, a good attitude, and no loose or flowing clothing!

Car Wash!

Sunday, October 20, the Scalawags worked from 1 to 4 washing cars in the parking lot of Rife’s Home Furniture in the freezing cold rain. This is just one of the many ways the kids on the team help to raise their own money. Every year, we have to raise almost $20,000 to build and compete with our robot. Most of the budget comes from mentor-written grants, but the kids help by manning concessions and car washes, as well as collecting cans and bottles. You can donate your cans and bottles to the Albany BottleDrop account for the Scalawags, give them to the team at any public event, or email us at and we will come pick them up.

Moving in at the High School

It’s official! We have set up fencing to keep our tools safe, and our shelves and cabinets are moved into place. At our meeting Wednesday night, we wiped down the shelving and cabinets. Sunday afternoon at 1, we will be loading a trailer with our absolutely necessary tools and parts. The team will then sort and organize everything between the trailer and its new home, ensuring that we settle in properly. We cannot wait to have a place to work and resume Junior Robotics, and none of it would be possible without Mr. Tatum, our hard working mentors, and especially our NEMO, Kelly Cleveland.

Moving Possibilities

Starting this weekend, the weekend of October 26th, the Scalawags will begin cleaning, sorting, and moving our choicest items to our temporary home… the classroom we will be sharing with Mr. Tatum at the high school! Although it will not be ideal, we are so grateful that we have been offered a location for the year until we can make our partnership with the Boys and Girls Club work. If you would like to volunteer to help us move some of our heavier tools and items, you can message us on Facebook @scalawags1359.