Letter to Team from Mentor Dave Kaiser

From 2021 Team Banquet

This year has been like no other with unique challenges given the world at this moment.  Yet in the face of all of this, the team has not only survived but has thrived.  You can see this in the few meetings we had in person.  The desire to start learning again, to push the boundaries of what we can do and the adaptability of the team.  We did not build a physical robot this year but that does not mean we were not learning or stopped designing. 

Benchmarked other Teams:

A big part of the fall was benchmarking other robotic teams.  This is a huge part of engineering that we rarely get time to do in a normal year.  We took the challenge of not meeting in person and turned it into a new experience.  We watch robot tape (Like most sports), we analyzed designs, and we looked for solutions to issues we would face.  During all of this we were learning to be a better team, we came up with a plan and started to design the work path toward better designs and manufacturing of the robot.  We now have a plan for the next year that will grow the team to more knowledge.

New Room:

The other big focus was transferring to the new room and design/layout of the new room.  With the help of many of students we were able to layout the unique space into a very efficient room.  Seeing the larger picture is sometimes hard but with a few iterations I think we have a great first start!  In this larger space we will be able to grow our ideas and work safer and more efficient.

Some of the new tools and experiences we will be able to gain in this new room is the use of the Bridgeport and CNC.  This will not only give the students even more design freedom but to also learn more manufacturing equipment used in industry.   Prototyping and design iterations should be faster which means more tested student designs!

Summary:

I measure success of the team in growth of knowledge, understanding, and teamwork.  Given the hardships of this year on the team, we were able to adapt and overcome.  We continued to learn and expand into another part of engineering and science.  Going forward into the new year, we need to continue to grow and to learn.  Never stop be curious and questioning.

Thank you to all the students, parents and other mentors that have gotten us through this year.  I know the challenges were not easy, so I thank you for continuing to support the team.  I am very proud to be a mentor for the TorqueNados because of you!

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