Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shortage of adult volunteers

4th/5th Grade Robotics

We currently only have 2 adult volunteers and 70 interested students.  Using the ratios suggested to us by the Robofest guide, we can accommodate 8 students.  That leaves 62 with no coach!   

Please volunteer!

3rd Grade Programming

We currently have 2 adult volunteers for 34 interested students.  We have a little more flexibility with capacity here, but 34 3rd grades is too many for 2 adults.  4 students is probably the right mix, 5 max.  That leaves several students without a coach!

Please volunteer!

Please volunteer!

Please volunteer!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Important info, meeting notes, and next meeting cancellation notice

Lots of information, so my apologies in advance for the long post.
  1. TOMORROW'S MEETING IS CANCELLED.  Due to scheduling conflicts with the school, we do not have a place to meet tomorrow.  However... 
  2. I have recently been in contact with Dr. Chung from Lawrence Tech and he shared a timeline that doesn't have the same sense of urgency that we first felt from our first meeting.  He provided great information about Robofest located at this link which states that we should be officially kicking off in December.  Please check this out, as he also provided some great information on how to apply for grants for all-girls Robofest teams.  I hope to attend one of the kickoff meetings, and I encourage parents interested in leading teams to do the same.  Please drop me an email stating that you are going and perhaps we can arrange to attend together.
  3. There is a link now on the right to the sign-up form that was used to gain interest.  If you have not already done so, please enter your student's information into it.  If you have, there is no need to do it again.  If you are unsure, please send an email to info@gallimorerobotics.com
  4. There is also a form on the right to enter your email address to receive updates to this blog.  I'd like to make it easy on everyone and enter their addresses for them using the form data, but I cannot for privacy reasons.  However, please put your email address in there as I do not plan to be sending updates using multiple channels for very long.
  5. I will be creating a calendar soon and will share our meeting dates on that.  Look for updates on this site.

Meeting notes from last Wednesday

Last Wednesday on 11/11, Joe DeRose from the Hoben Robotics Club provided a tremendous amount of information and insight into what it takes to get a robotics club going.  I've provided the link to his presentation here.  A few take-aways:
  • 3rd graders cannot compete in Robofest and it is suggested that the difficulty of the assignments may be too much for them anyhow.  Instead, I have spoken with some 3rd grade parents that plan to lead a programming club for 3rd graders using sites like www.code.org or scratch.mit.edu.  If you signed up on the interest form and indicated you are interested in that, you'll be getting an email soon to discuss further plans.
  • Robotics hardware is normally on sale during Black Friday events, so it is suggested to have teams in place prior to these sales.  According to the suggestions we need 1 technical parent for each 4 students for a team.  Therefore we need to identify our parent team lead volunteers before we can determine the number of teams we will have.  If you are interested in leading a team, please email me with the subject line Parent Team Lead within the next week.  Also, if your student has a team in mind, include that detail in the email.  I'm hoping we can gather the information soon enough to take advantage of the sales.
  • We need a President for the club.  If you are interested, please send me an email.
  • We need a club Treasurer.  If you are interested, please send me an email.
  • We need a fundraiser chair.  Again, if you are interested, please send me an email
Lastly, based on feedback from the group, we will use this blog as a the primary means of communication (meaning not facebook).  Due to that, I'd like to reiterate the request to add your email address to the link on the right hand side of this page.  I believe this link would only exist on the desktop version of the website, so please switch to that view if your device can display it, or go to the website from a desktop computer.

I believe I covered everything I have to share at this point.  If you have any questions, either leave a comment below or email me.


Thanks again.

Tomorrow's meeting is cancelled

Details to follow

Friday, November 6, 2015

Answers to questions

Q:  Can my 3rd/4th/5th grader join?
A:  At this time, the club is open to all students of Gallimore Elementary.

Q:  Is it too late to join?
A:  No, but please ensure you have submitted your information at this link.

Q:  What is the Gallimore Robotics Club?
A:  The Gallimore Robotics Club is intended to be an umbrella club that supports multiple competitive robotics teams as well as a learning environment for all students at Gallimore Elementary.

Q:  Is this the same as First Lego League(FLL)/First Lego League Junior (FLLJ)?
A:  No, but there may be some Gallimore Robotics Club members that choose to create FLL/FLLJ teams in the future. From what I have gathered, it is too late to start a team this year.

Q:  What does it cost to join?
A:  Since we are just staring out, that is unknown. Costs will be determined by the type of hardware we choose to invest in, leagues we will decide to join, and how cool we want our team shirts to be.

Q:  My child has no previous experience with robotics/programming. Can they still join?
A:  Your child does not need any previous experience to get something out of robotics club. They just need to have the willingness to learn and a positive attitude!

Q:  How much time will participation in the club take?
A:  I am not sure yet as it will be based on which leagues we choose to enter and how hard we want to compete in those leagues. From what I gather, there is no maximum to the amount of time that could be spent on these teams, and it will likely vary from team to team. My child is involved in many different after school activities and will be unable to put forth as much time as others likely will be able to so I expect to see variances between teams.

Q:   Do I need to have my own robot/computer?
A:  No, but the club currently has no hardware either as we are just starting out. One of the objectives of the first meeting is to determine which type and how much hardware we need to procure. However, I would like to know if you do have your own hardware!

Q:  Why did you create a separate website?  Why not just create a group on facebook?
A:  I asked myself that same question seconds after creating that site.  This may end up going there.

Q:  What is the difference between Gallimore Robotics Club and NASA?
A:  Funding  

Q:  My question isn't answered here. How do I get my question answered?
A:  You can find me on the Gallimore Roadrunner facebook group. If you have a question, it is very likely that others do as well so please ask and I'll post the answer here.

New site, New meeting, New info!

In order to continue the ramp up of the Gallimore Robotics Club, I've created this site (www.gallimorerobotics.com) and have set up an informational meeting for next Wednesday 11/11 at 7:00 PM at the school. The founder of the Hoben Robotics club has graciously offered to come and share his experiences in creating his club as well as instruct us on some of the different competitive options available to us for all ages at Gallimore Elementary. Additionally, we will discuss how to obtain hardware needed to get started, discuss when the first official club meeting will be, and create the leadership structure for the club. The information will be aimed at the parents this meeting, but I anticipate that we will be having our first official club meeting the following Tuesday. I look forward to seeing you all there, and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions via The Gallimore Roadrunner facebook page.

CLARIFICATION:  Wednesday night is a parent-only meeting.  There will be no student activities for our first meeting.