Friday, July 29, 2011

Lycos Robotics Club 2010-11, Sea Perch Challenge at Coronado HS

Sea Perch took place on May 7, 2011 at Coronado HS. The Coronado Cougars robotics team had arranged this activity and invited all of the robotics teams in the city to come join them for the day building underwater robots and racing them against each other. It was an optional event, but I think well worth giving up a Saturday lazing around for. 2011_0507_SeaPerch-91

The kids were divided up into groups of 3 or 4 and each was given a robot kit.  They followed the instructions to build their underwater robot, and of course were allowed to ‘tweak’ the design to their liking as they went along.
Once the robots were built and all of the glue set, they got to the really fun part- putting them in the water and ‘driving’ them. The challenge/race was for the robot to navigate through a series of 3 hoops at the bottom of the pool, find a ring and pick it up, then bring the ring to a team  member and return to the starting hoop. Fastest time to complete the course wins.

 Bryce_SeaPerch_5-7-11w Bryce_SeaPerch-1 Bryce_SeaPerch-2

Bryce’s team:

The ‘Mentorbot’ gets it’s turn at the obstacle course.

The girls and I popped in and out of the building as permitted during their dance schedule for the day. I think they all got a turn at driving the ‘mentorbot’- even the ‘I don’t like robots’ girl (Carissa) took a turn and then admitted it was fun. ;)

Big thanks to Coronado HS and Honeywell for sponsoring this day of robotics water fun!

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Lycos Robotics Club 2010-11 Season Summary, Part 2

There’s so much to say about the regional competition weekend in Denver April 7-9, 2011 that I really don’t know where to start. I wasn’t originally planning on going up for the competition because of several things the girls were doing that were going on as well. The team left the Springs on Thursday morning to transport the robot to the arena and make last minute updates and changes to it (remember it had been ‘bagged and tagged’ since the end of February). Friday morning at 9 the preliminary rounds started. I decided at the last minute to drive up to Denver with Sarah after I had dropped the older 3 girls off at school for the day. Having to be back to pick them up at 3 I knew I would only be able to stay until lunch, but I wanted to go experience a little of it myself since Mark had done most of the robotics club interaction for the family as he was a club mentor for the season. I’m so glad I went, it was amazing- and that was just from a parent’s perspective. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to go back Saturday morning too and take the other girls. Carissa opted to stay home and attend the opera showing she wanted to go to (a school sponsored event), but Brenna and Elizabeth went up for the morning with me.

The “Rookie” team award for this regional event was given to a team from Mexico this year, and they deserved it. Yes- that country down south of us. They drove to Denver for the weekend and they were there to have a good time. They were always dancing and singing together and enjoying the whole experience. It was a great example to everyone there about what the spirit of FIRST is all about. I’ll let the journaling I did on my scrapbook page sum it my feelings of the weekend, though I’m not sure I was able to capture it in that small amount of space on the right page.

Journaling: The atmosphere at the Ritchie Center during the FIRST Denver Regional competition was like a big party. Music was playing loudly, and teams showed their group spirit with costumes, waving flags and dancing. The pit area where teams worked on their robots was always abuzz with concentrated activity. On the competition floor, robots moved on and off the field with efficiency. Cheers rang out for robots that successfully hung tubes and deployed their minibot to climb the pole for a big score during rounds. The Friday and Saturday morning round scores were used to rank the teams for the final elimination rounds Saturday afternoon. VRHS was pleased to be chosen to join an alliance in the competition rounds. What I found most impressive as a parent was the 'team spirit' that wove through everything.  Working well together within your group and with others was as important as the robot you brought to the competition. VRHS was awarded the 'clean pit' and coveted 'team unity' awards at the end of the 3 days of competition. Remember to build it like a tank next year, kids!

credits: Robotrix Collection by Flergs and Charlize Creations at, Project 365 Templates by Jen Caputo (retired)
font: Baby Boston, Century Gothic

Bryce_VRHSrobotics-2011-1 Bryce_VRHSrobotics-2011-2

Here are a few videos of the Lycos robot in action at the competition, and the last one is the final match for the championship.

Friday #1, Lycos hangs white tube, the minibot was still being worked on and is not on the robot during the match.

Friday #2, Lycos minibot wins race

Friday #5, Lycos minibot wins race

Friday #6, Lycos match with Titanium, minibot places second in race

Saturday #3, Lycos hangs red tube

Mascot Dance

Final match for regional championship

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Lycos Robotics Club 2010-11 Season Summary, Part 1

We made it through our first season of the FIRST Robotics competition with the Vista Ridge Robotics Club at the end of May. From the time that Bryce heard about the robotics club at a district school open house in the fall of 2009 and saw the robot that they were building for that year’s competition, he wanted to join and be a part of it. The engineering academy program and the robotics club were the big reasons that we decided to send him to Vista Ridge High School even though it isn’t our neighborhood school.

The club season kicks into high gear at the beginning of January when FIRST announces what the competition challenge is for the year. This is a big deal with groups from the area meeting at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to hear the challenge specifications via a nationally broadcast video. The kids then have 6 weeks to design and build a robot that can accomplish the designated tasks in a 2 minute and 15 second period.


This year’s challenge was named “Logo Motion” and there were 3 parts to it:
1. Autonomous period where the robot is programmed to hang a gold tube, called the ‘uber tube’, by itself. The drivers are not allowed to even touch the controls of the robot. If an uber tube is hung, then any tube hung on top of it during the second part of the challenge receives double points. This section lasts 15 seconds.
2. Driver period where the robot is controlled by a driver and has 2 minutes to hang as many red, white and blue tubes as they can on any of the 3 tiers of pegs. The top row of pegs was worth 3 points, the middle row 2 points, and the bottom row 1 point. If one of each of the 3 color tubes were hung in the order to make the FIRST logo, then the score for the row was  doubled, and then doubled again if there was an uber tube in place as well.
3. Minibot period ended the competition and the teams had the last 30 seconds of the match to deploy a minibot and have it climb one of four 9 foot tall poles. The first minibot to reach the top and activate the sensors received 30 points, second place 20 points, and third place 10 points.

It is an intense 6 weeks, with 3 hour build sessions Monday through Thursday after school or in the evening, and a 6 hour session on Saturdays. Mark was a mentor for the club this year and attended the evening and weekend sessions to help the kids design and build their robot. He took on the minibot project in particular, spending most of his time working on that part of the robot. Bryce chose to be a part of the CAD team and helped design and draw parts that need to be manufactured for the robot.

“Bag and Tag” day was February 22, and no work was allowed on the robot after that until they unpacked it in the pit area of the regional competition the club was attending. We celebrated the end of build season with a potluck and a robot viewing to which family members and representatives from the corporate sponsors were invited. At the end of the evening the robot was sealed in a large plastic bag in the engineering lab where it waited until the Denver regional competition weekend in April. 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-1  2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-11 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-12 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-13 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-16 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-18 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-19 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-62011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-24 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-25 2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-27
Mark helped a lot with the minibot this year. Many parts were manufactured on our dining room table during the month of February. Brad was the student who headed up that aspect of the robot and worked with him the most. The minibot was nicknamed “Sheila”.
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“Minibot Land”2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-31
Bagged and Tagged, and waiting for April to come.2011_0222_Bryce-RoboticsClub-32

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I joined a summer scrapping workshop at the site Plant Your Story, Plant Your Story: Staycation, on a whim back at the end of June. With  a huge set of templates, prompts to inspire and motivate, and a fun kit to work with I decided I would give it a try. It’s been fun. The prompts have helped me figure out some ways to fill the emptier days for the kids this month. So now I’m trying to get it scrapped. I had a coupon for a free 8x8 album that came with an electronics purchase earlier this summer and I was hoping to be be able to use it for having this album printed but it has to be used by the end of the week and I don’t think I will be making that deadline. Oh well.

Agnes Biro: basics stitches sampler
Chelle's Creations at scraporchard: Fireworks (fireworks and sparklers, July daily blog giveaway)
Sahlin Studio at TLP: Country Fair Picnic Papers
Valori Wibbens at TLP: Summer Stories elements
Kate Hadfield at TLP: Summer Staycation and Stars n Stripes Alpha
Anna Forrest Designs at Pickleberry Pop: PSE Create Shadow Layer action

Prompt 1- picture that says 'summer'Summer2011-1flipflops journaling: One of the first signs of summer in our house is the appearance of the multiple pairs of flip-flops. Once school lets out and the weather heats up, the socks and shoes are delegated to the back of the closet where the flip-flops resided during the winter months. Even though I’m sure that we have more than enough pairs between the 5 ladies of the house, we always manage to find another pair that we have to own. Sparkly stones and glittery plastic were the new additions to the lineup this year. ~July 17, 2011
Jenn Barrett at SSD: Stay-cation
Christina Renee: Sassy Lace (retired)
Crystal Livesay: Grow with Love Staycation template
Kate Hadfield: Summer Staycation
Amy hutchinson at After5Designs: Scruffy Stitches

Prompt 2- A moment of a day. I stretched this prompt just a bit, as I decided to focus on the hours of the week that we spend at dance classes.
journaling: Summer dance classes are an opportunity to polish skills from last year and get a head start on new ones. The schedule is still pretty intense with classes 4 evenings and one morning a week, but at least we have had weekends free this year.
Sarah Gleason: Grow with Love Staycation template 1
Lorilei Murphy at scrapbookgraphics: Glee (background), Up, Imprints- Dance
Flergs at scrapbookgraphics: Robotrix with Charlize Creations (solid papers), Metallicalpha Collection
Kim Jensen at scrapdish: Shameless Glass Alpha (braces)
Michelle Godin : File It Under Glitzy (sticker tab)
Traci Reed at SSD: 10080 Minutes: Date Tools
font: Century Gothic

Prompt 3- ReadingSummer2011-3library journaling: It’s a weekly activity year-round in our house, visiting the library. During the summer though it’s easier to find time for all of the kids to go. They have fun completing the summer reading program and earning prizes for enjoying books.
Sahlin Studio at TLP: Country Fair Picnic Papers and Elements
Valorie Wibbens at TLP: Summer Stories elements, Fancy Schmancy Frames, Love Letters
Jenn Barrett at SSD: Stay-cation
Misty Cato: Rainbow Week (blog freebie)
font: FO weathered lowfat, Typewriter

Prompt 4 - moviesSummer2011-4Giselle journaling: We went to see the ballet Giselle, live from Russia at Tinseltown. Yep, live from Russia and in 3D too. It was amazing. The music was beautiful, and of course so was the dancing. The ballerinas and danseurs were so graceful, and when they leaped they looked like they were floating.
BCD at
Movie Weekend, Sweet Ladybug (stitching)
Sara Gleason: Grow with Love Staycation template
font: Fontdiner Loungy

prompt 8 – get wet Summer2011-8pool journaling: We don’t get to go swimming very often for a variety of reasons. We found out that they had finally added a family rate to their prices at Wilson Ranch and so we took an afternoon to go swimming. It had been 8 years since we had been to this fun pool, so it was like new to the kids. The afternoon spent splashing in the water and relaxing in the sun reminded me of the many summer days I spent as a kid at our town’s community pool at Reaney park.
Crystal Livesay: Leslie's Jumpers
Oscraps designers: trOpical
Valorie Wibbens at TLP: Summer Stories elements (summer word strip)
Kate Hadfield: Summer Staycation (water splash)
Traci Reed at SSD: 10080 Minutes: Date Tools
fonts: Chromosome Heavy

Prompt 15 – Treasure Hunt. OK, this one I stretched more than a bit as I really had no interest in planning out and setting up a treasure hunt for the kids. Instead I decided to scrap about the day 7-11 and how a post I saw from a friend on Facebook about free slurpee day at 7-Elevens sent us on a trip to the convenience store down the street to find our own free icy treat that day.
Summer2011-15Slurpee  journaling: It started with a Facebook post from a friend- it was 7-11 day and they were giving away 7.11 ounce slurpees in celebration of their birthday. We stopped at the 7-Eleven down the street on our way to the library. They had 6 different flavors and everyone chose a different one.  Free Slurpees make us all smile!
Crystal Livesay: Grow with Love Staycation template 4
Sahlin Studio at TLP: Country Fair Picnic Papers and elements
Jenn Barrett at SSD: Stay-cation
Amy hutchinson at After5Designs: Scruffy Stitches
Traci Reed at SSD: 10080 Minutes: Date Tools
Kim Jensen at scrapdish: Rubdown- Eclectic, Pink Lemonade Alpha
Pineapple Plantation Designs: sunburst paper overlay
font: Century Gothic

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Friday, July 15, 2011

HMS Talent Show 2011- it was “So Insane”

Beth and Carissa have danced with their friend Derek for 3 years in tap company and various classes at dance. Last year he moved to the same school that B&C attend. They asked him if he would do something with them for the school talent show this last year. We were of course thinking it would be some modified version of the tap company dance they had been working on since fall. Derek said he would, but on the condition that he could pick the song and do the choreography himself. Beth and Carissa agreed, and they spent about 3.5 months working with him on his version of  this dance to “So Insane” by Smash Mouth, which they performed on April 28. They tweaked the choreography to fit them all as they went along. It was an interesting experience to watch from a parent’s perspective since they did everything themselves, including work out the little disagreements amongst themselves. The girls had fun and enjoyed working on this with Derek. It turned out well, I think. The video below, not so much LOL Lighting was horrible,  the video camera overcompensated, and so you mostly see silhouettes. Oh well. Good job kids, especially with the music troubles that the sound people had too.

At least the camera did a bit better at capturing the details- like faces LOL    2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-3-w 2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-4-w 2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-5-w 2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-7-w 2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-8-w 2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-9-w 2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-10-w2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-SoInsane-12-w

Beth and Carissa’s friend Alyssa sang a trio with 2 other friends. they did very well.2011_0428_HMSTalentShow-5-w

And the show ended with all of the participants singing  the Glee version of  “Don’t Stop Believin”. I think it can officially be declared as the school’s song for 2011, as every spring musical performance had a version of it somewhere on the program LOL


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Feeling Patriotic

It’s July and that tends to bring out the patriotic feelings in full force. Of course maybe a certain set of dance photos might have had a bit to do with it as well ;)

credits: at scrapbookgraphics: Buttercup Designs: Vogue Templates, Microferk: My Country and My Country Glass Alpha, Manuella Zimmerman: Only You (white feather), SussieM: Secret Garden (colored feathers); bronze stars made by me
font: TXT Brush Script

credits: at scrapbookgraphics: Lorelei Murphy: Blended Templates 6, Microferk: My Country and My Country Glass Alpha, Manuella Zimmerman: Only You (white feather), SussieM: Secret Garden (colored feathers); bronze stars made by me
font: TXT Brush Script

TDC2011-IntAcro-Stars&Str3 credits: at scrapbookgraphics: Buttercup Designs: Vogue Templates, Microferk: My Country and My Country Glass Alpha, Manuella Zimmerman: Only You (white feather), SussieM: Secret Garden (colored feathers); bronze stars made by me
font: TXT Brush Script

credits: at scrapbookgraphics-
by Rebecca McMeen:
Evangeline and Ismene Bundle
by Tangie Baxter: Tiger-Lily font, Five, Seven and Two font, Mad Hatter font, Mock Turtle font, AJC Journal Lines, Paperworn Art Styles
By Microferk: My Country elements (flag)

and a little flashback to a year ago, last July ;) The girls are in the midst of the party plans for this year now.

credits: by Kim Jensen at Tiki Beach, Jumbo Postcard Titles, Ring Around the Rosie, Srsly Stoked with Kate Hadfield (frame), Random Moments Elements; font: Baby Boston

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